Meta Connect 2023: CEO Mark Zuckerberg will kick off the tech giant’s Connect developer conference on Wednesday with a focus on virtual and augmented reality and artificial intelligence. The company, which renamed itself Meta two years ago, is expected to unveil the next version of its virtual reality headset, the Quest 3 and discuss AI chatbots and other tools and features designed to keep users interested in Facebook and Instagram as competition with TikTok continues. This remains Meta's biggest challenge, said Insider Intelligence analyst Yoram Wurmser.
“A lot of this effort around chatbots and stories and other ways just to keep engagement going (like) AI-driven personalization and stuff like that, that's the overarching challenge for the company,” he said. Also read: Meta Connect Event 2023 Live.
Squeezed by a slump in online advertising and uncertainty around the global economy, Meta has cut more than 20,000 jobs since last November. Zuckerberg dubbed 2023 the company's “year of efficiency” as it reduces its workforce while focusing on more technical hires such as experts in AI to focus on Meta's long-term vision.
Artificial intelligence is central to that vision. Over the summer, Meta released the next generation of its AI large language model and made the technology, known as Llama 2, free for research and commercial use.
Much like tech peers Google and Microsoft, Meta has long had a big research team of computer scientists devoted to advancing AI technology. But it’s been overshadowed as the release of ChatGPT sparked a rush to profit off of “generative AI” tools that can create new prose, images and other media.
Zuckerberg said at the time that people can download its new AI models directly or through a partnership that makes them available on Microsoft’s cloud platform Azure “along with Microsoft’s safety and content tools.”
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