On Wednesday, Meta's CEO Mark Zuckerberg introduced new AI-based products like realistic image-creating bots, smart glasses that respond to queries, and an improved virtual reality headset.
Zuckerberg said the new products blend the virtual and real. He highlighted that many of Meta's offerings are affordable or free AI tools that fit into everyday life. Meta's Quest, a top-seller in the emerging VR market, is touted by its executives as the best industry value, hinting at Apple's upcoming pricier headset release.
From Meta's vast Silicon Valley grounds, Zuckerberg announced that the next version of Meta's Ray-Ban smart glasses would be available from Oct. 17, costing $299.
The device will feature a new Meta AI assistant and can livestream what the user sees directly to Facebook and Instagram, improving upon the previous model's photo-taking capability.
What did Zuckerberg reveal at the conference?
At the Meta Connect conference, the company's premier annual event and its first in-person gathering since the pandemic began, Zuckerberg addressed the attendees.
Zuckerberg revealed that the new Quest mixed-reality headset would be available from Oct. 10. He also introduced the company's debut generative AI tools, including a chatbot, Meta AI, capable of producing text replies and lifelike images.
Zuckerberg mentioned, "At times, our innovation introduces unprecedented features. Other times, we transform something great yet costly, making it affordable or even complimentary for all."
The smart glasses will incorporate Meta AI as an assistant, initially launching as a beta in the U.S. An upcoming software update next year will enable the assistant to recognize places, objects, and even translate languages.
Meta developed Meta AI from a tailored model derived from the robust Llama 2 language model, which was publicly released in July. Zuckerberg stated that, through a collaboration with Microsoft's Bing, the chatbot will tap into real-time data.
Nick Clegg, Meta Global Affairs President, told Reuters that the company ensured privacy by filtering personal data during model training. Additionally, they've set limitations on the tool, including prohibiting the generation of lifelike images of public personalities.
Clegg stated, "We've aimed to avoid datasets laden with personal information," pointing out that content from platforms like LinkedIn was intentionally not incorporated.
Meta revealed plans to create a platform allowing both developers and the general public to craft their own custom AI bots. These bots will have profiles on Instagram and Facebook and are expected to eventually manifest as avatars in the metaverse.
Illustrating the tool's potential, Meta crafted 28 chatbots, each mirroring the personalities and styles of celebrities such as Charli D'Amelio, Snoop Dogg, and Tom Brady, as detailed in a company blog post.
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