Facebook and Instagram parent Meta is accelerating its efforts in so-called generative artificial intelligence by forming a team devoted to the area, building on the massive popularity of OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

“We’re creating a new top-level product group at Meta focused on generative AI to turbocharge our work in this area,” wrote Meta chief executive Mark Zuckerber in a post on Instagram.

He said the company was initially pulling together teams already working in the field from across the company.

In the short term Meta wants to focus on “building creative and expressive tools”, he wrote.

‘AI personas’

He said that over the longer term the group would develop “AI personas” that could help people in various ways.

Meta may build text-based tools, such as chat for WhatsApp and Messenger, as well as image tools, such as “creative filters” for Instagram and new ad formats, in addition to video and “multi-modal experiences”, Zuckerberg said.

“We have a lot of foundational work to do before getting to the really futuristic experiences, but I’m excited about all of the new things we’ll build along the way,” he wrote.

The team is to be led by Ahmad Al-Dahle a machine learning and AI executive at Meta who previously worked in Apple’s special product group and who will report directly to Meta chief product officer Chris Cox, Meta said in a statement.

Last week Meta said it was working on an AI language generator called LLaMA and would provide access to researchers.

Competition

The firm has previously launched two chatbots, Blenderbot and Galactica, although neither attracted the same level of interest as ChatGPT.

The sudden popularity of OpenAI’s chatbot, which was released free to the public late last year and quickly gained 100 million users, has spurred a race for competitors to catch up.

Microsoft, which is investing tens of billions of dollars into OpenAI, has begun trialling ChatGPT features in its Bing search engine, prompting Google to announce similar plans with its Bard chatbot.

On Monday Snap said it was releasing “My AI”, a chatbot running on the latest version of OpenAI’s GPT technology customised for its users.

The chatbot is available now as an experimental feature for Snapchat+, the firm’s subscription service.

Matthew Broersma

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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