This week, Meta unveiled its latest developments in generative AI technology for its popular consumer products like Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger. In an all-hands meeting, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced several AI advancements, including AI chatbots for Messenger and WhatsApp, AI stickers, and photo editing tools for Instagram Stories. The company also revealed plans for an internal AI hackathon focused on generative AI, which could lead to the creation of new AI products for Meta users.
The announcement aligns with Zuckerberg’s previous statements during Meta’s Q1 earnings call, where he mentioned the exploration of new AI technologies for products reaching billions of users worldwide. In collaboration with Ahmad Al-Dahle, VP of Engineering, Generative AI at Meta, Zuckerberg provided more details about the projects. The AI chatbots, known as AI agents, will offer users unique personas and skill sets to assist and entertain them.
The demand for AI chatbots has been growing rapidly, with apps like Character.AI gaining significant attention and investment. Meta intends to release its AI agents initially on Messenger and WhatsApp, with plans to expand to other applications and potentially integrate with smart glasses like Ray-Ban Stories. Users wearing smart glasses could interact with the agents via voice commands, allowing for various interactions such as asking for recommendations or receiving responses in specific styles.
Meta is also experimenting with AI technology that enables users to modify their photos for sharing on Instagram Stories. Users will be able to engage with a text prompt to customize their photos, similar to the viral trend of AI avatars. Meta’s plan includes introducing AI stickers in Messenger, generated from text prompts. Additionally, the company is developing a feature where users can type in a prompt to specify how they want to edit a photo for Instagram Stories.
One of the advantages of Meta’s offerings in this space is that the tools will be available for free, supported by Meta’s ad-based business model. Competing apps on the market typically provide limited AI edits for free, requiring subscriptions for full access to features.
The all-hands meeting also highlighted Meta’s use of generative AI for internal purposes. Meta employees can now interact with AI agents in an experimental interface called the “agents playground” powered by Meta’s large language model LLaMA. Feedback from these conversations will help Meta improve its systems. Other internal tools showcased include MetaGen, providing APIs for text and image generation models, and Metamate, an internal productivity assistant that performs tasks based on users’ text prompts, such as bug-finding or calendar management.
Meta confirmed that the initial consumer-facing tools will be launched this year, potentially within the next few months. Zuckerberg emphasized Meta’s commitment to incorporating generative AI into all of its products, offering unique capabilities to billions of people in ways that other companies cannot.