Meta forms AI product team for chatbot competition


Meta’s newly formed product group will include dozens of employees from teams that were previously scattered across the company.
The battle of chatbots is heating up and Mark Zuckerberg made it clear that Meta also focuses on tools based on artificial intelligence.

“We have a lot of groundwork to do before we get to the really futuristic experiences, but I’m excited about all the new things we’ll build along the way.”

For now, he said, the company is trying to use the technology with text chats in Meta’s messaging apps, WhatsApp and Messenger, and in visual filters for photos and videos on platforms like Instagram. “We will focus on developing AI personas that can help people in many ways,” he added.

On Monday, rival social network Snap said it is rolling out an AI-enabled chatbot powered by OpenAI’s GPT technology to Snapchat app subscribers. The Snap news was the latest entry in the race to offer digital tools that can answer users’ questions in natural language format, following similar test releases from internet heavyweights such as Microsoft and Alphabet.

The group will be led by Ahmad Al-Dahle, a machine learning and artificial intelligence executive at Meta, according to a spokesperson. Al-Dahle will report directly to Meta Product Director Chris Cox, a sign of the social media giant’s intention to further integrate this type of technology into Meta’s product range.

Zuckerberg’s latest post echoes comments he made on Meta’s earnings call earlier this month — that the company is focused on infusing AI into messaging, the advertising business and its algorithm that decides what content people see on Facebook and on Instagram.

“We are focused on efficiency and continue to streamline the company so we can execute on these priorities,” he said at the time, just months after laying off 13% of Meta’s workforce.

Last week, the CEO unveiled a great language model called LLaMA, a research tool for building chatbots and other AI-based products. The company plans to make the technology available to AI researchers, a decision that will allow outsiders to see more clearly how the system works, tweak it to their needs and collaborate on related projects.

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