February 23, 2024

Facebook owner Meta Platforms on Thursday gave employees a sneak peek at a series of AI tools it was building, including ChatGPT-like chatbots planned for Messenger and WhatsApp that could converse using different personas.

Company executives speaking at an all-hands meeting also demonstrated a coming Instagram feature that could modify user photos via text prompts and another that could create emoji stickers for messaging services, according to a summary of the session provided by a Meta spokesperson.

The showcase provided the first concrete indications of how the social media giant is planning to make its own generative AI tools available to its 3.8 billion monthly users, months after competitors like Google, Microsoft, and Snapchat announced a rush of launches of such tools in their products.

Meta has yet to roll out any consumer-facing generative AI products, although it announced last month that it was working with a small group of advertisers to test tools that use AI to generate image backgrounds and variations of written copy for their ad campaigns.

The company has also been reorganizing its AI divisions and spending heavily to whip its infrastructure into shape, after determining early last year that it lacked the hardware and software capacity to support its AI product needs.

Meta Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg told employees at the session on Thursday that advancements in generative AI in the last year had now made it possible for the company to build the technology “into every single one of our products.”

In addition to the consumer-facing tools, executives at the meeting also announced a productivity assistant for employees called Metamate that could answer queries and perform tasks based on information gleaned from internal company systems. 

© Thomson Reuters 2023  


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