April 19, 2024
Zuckerberg's Vision for the Metaverse: Leveraging AI to Shape the Future of Virtual Reality
AI

Zuckerberg’s Vision for the Metaverse: Leveraging AI to Shape the Future of Virtual Reality

Modern artificial intelligence technology, according to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, is a compelling approach to realizing Meta’s goals to lead the future of virtual and augmented reality.

In several appearances with the media this week, Mark Zuckerberg made it plain that he thought recent advances in generative AI were essential for maximizing the numerous uses in the “metaverse.” The CEO of Meta focused in particular on the development of digital avatars that would eventually be integrated into all of the company’s products.

“I think that’s going to be very compelling and interesting, and obviously, we’re kind of starting slowly on that,” Zuckerberg stated in an interview with The Verge on Wednesday.

A day later, when Zuckerberg participated in an interview as a “codec avatar” on AI researcher Lex Fridman’s podcast, this focus on avatars—virtually created visual personas—was put on display. The tech CEO explained that AI is crucial to comprehending the content and context of the metaverse as well as being vital to future improvements to Facebook, Instagram, and other current offerings, as Fridman admired the high-resolution, almost photorealistic depictions of himself and Zuckerberg.

Zuckerberg stated that, despite ongoing issues with the product and its primary value proposition, his dedication to the metaverse is unwavering. The advancements achieved in the interim months do seem to have refocused Meta’s attention on virtual environments. One item the business is developing is a set of “smart glasses” with MetaAI, an AI companion that can converse verbally, textually, and even physically.

In an interview with The Verge, Zuckerberg claimed that most of the AI research done as part of Meta’s products was still “pretty basic,” but he also described how he saw AI’s capabilities evolving to become more user-adaptive.

“You get to this point where there’s going to be 100 million AIs just helping businesses sell things, then you get the creator version of that, where every creator is going to want an AI assistant—something that can help them build their community,” he explained. “Then I think that there’s a bunch of stuff that’s just an interesting kind of consumer use case.”

For instance, AI chatbots can prepare meals for you, schedule exercises, or create a travel itinerary.

“I think that a bunch of these things can help you in your interactions with people,” he stated. “And I think that’s more our natural space.”

There will likely be engaging AI profiles that function more autonomously, according to Zuckerberg.

“Chat will be where most of the interaction happens, but these AIs are going to have profiles on Instagram and Facebook, and they’ll be able to post content, and they’ll be able to interact with people and interact with each other,” the Meta CEO explained.

In addition, Zuckerberg addressed the rising calls for government control of AI, saying he understands all sides of the argument, even if his perspective tends to be more competitive.

“I think that there is valuable stuff for the government to do, both in terms of protecting American citizens from harm and preserving what I think is a natural competitive advantage for the United States compared to other countries,” he stated.

“I think this is just going to be a huge sector, and it’s going to be important for everything, not just in terms of the economy, but there’s probably defence components and things like that,” he further added. “I think the US having a lead on that is important.”

However many have criticized Meta’s AI goals.

Researchers attacked Meta during the summer for calling its Llama 2 AI system open-source but failing to acknowledge the license constraints that limit its accessibility. Sens. Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) from both parties expressed their worries about Llama’s potential abuse by bad actors in a letter to Zuckerberg in June.

At Meta, Zuckerberg admitted that “not everything we do is open source,” but claimed that a large portion of its work is and that it tends to be “probably a little more open-source” than its rivals. He did admit that releasing all of the code open source has the danger that it may be misused.

In terms of AI security, the CEO noted that being as transparent as possible meant that it would be subject to more examination, which would result in the development of new industry standards, which would be a “big advantage” in terms of security.

Image: Wallpapers.com

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