Speaking with Nikkei Asia on Wednesday, Meta CTO Andrew “Boz” Bosworth said that he, the company’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg and CPO Chris Cox have been dedicating a significant amount of their time to developing artificial intelligence (AI).
Bosworth pointed out that while some of the projects will benefit the metaverse, which Meta aims to develop, it also underscores AI’s importance to the company.
In February, Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, unveiled a product team dedicated to generative AI, which employs novel machine-learning techniques that enable computers to generate text, images and other media that mimic human output.
Meta also introduced its extensive language model, Large Language Model Meta AI (LLaMA), with plans to make it available for researchers to assist in uncovering issues with AI language models, such as bias, toxicity and the inclination to fabricate information.
Although OpenAI has already commercialized the technology that can rapidly produce sentences and graphics, Bosworth insisted that Meta is still at the forefront of this technology.
Investing in AI development
The CTO revealed that the company has invested in AI for over a decade and has a top global research institute with hundreds of researchers.
In 2013, Meta created an AI research laboratory and enlisted the help of French scientist and AI expert Yann LeCun. According to the AI research analysis platform Zeta Alpha, Meta was ranked second in the number of citations in significant AI studies published in 2022, behind only Google.
Meta also established Reality Labs sometime before February 2021. The division is responsible for the company’s metaverse initiatives and technology and is supervised by Bosworth. However, it recorded a loss of $13.72 billion in 2022.
Bosworth hinted that Meta might launch several commercial AI applications this year, which could boost its advertising earning. He mentioned that businesses could leverage AI to produce advertisements by generating multiple images to cater to diverse target audiences rather than relying on a single-image ad campaign. Most of Meta’s earnings come from digital advertising, with a total revenue of $116.61 billion in 2022.
Bosworth said he envisioned a future where people could describe the world they wanted to create and could prompt the extensive language model to generate it. This breakthrough would make content creation more inclusive and “accessible to more people.”
Despite Meta’s positive outlook on AI, some do not share the same sentiment. The Future of Life Institute started a petition in March, calling for a pause in the development of AI technology for at least six months. The petition garnered support from Tesla and Twitter CEO Elon Musk.
Bosworth rejected the petition’s request and said that Meta had already invested in responsible AI development. He explained that it was challenging to halt progress and make the necessary decisions for technological changes.
The CTO explained that it is important to understand how technology evolves first to ensure safety. Bosworth also insisted that it is not only “unrealistic” to pause AI development, but it would also be “ineffective.”
Meta’s metaverse, powered by its Oculus VR headsets, has not produced any significant outcomes for the company. Since the 2021 rebranding, its stock price has been declining. It also has let go of around 21,000 workers in recent months.