Meta Platforms, Inc., operating under the name Meta, previously known as Facebook, Inc., and TheFacebook, Inc., is an American multinational technology conglomerate headquartered in Menlo Park, California. The company is the owner and operator of various prominent products and services, including Facebook, Instagram, Threads, and WhatsApp. Meta is recognized as one of the world’s most valuable companies and ranks among the ten largest publicly traded corporations in the United States. It holds a position among the Big Five American information technology companies, standing alongside Alphabet (Google’s parent company), Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft. Beyond its flagship platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Threads, and WhatsApp, Meta has expanded its portfolio through acquisitions such as Oculus (now integrated into Reality Labs), Mapillary, CTRL-Labs, and a 9.99% stake in Jio Platforms. The company has also ventured into non-VR hardware, exemplified by the Meta Portal smart displays line (now discontinued) and its partnership with Luxottica for the Ray-Ban Stories series of smart glasses.
Meta has progressively integrated AI-powered features into its platforms like Facebook and Instagram, with the latest focus on its popular instant messaging service – WhatsApp. Announced earlier this year at the Meta Connect 2023 event, Meta revealed plans to introduce an AI chatbot to WhatsApp. While initially accessible to a limited group of U.S. users, the latest report from WABetaInfo indicates that the newest WhatsApp beta for Android now features a shortcut button, enabling users to quickly access Meta’s AI-powered chatbot without navigating through the conversation list.
Found in the ‘Chats’ section of WhatsApp, the new AI chatbot button is positioned above the ‘New Chat’ button. However, it is currently available to a select few users, and there is no information on its broader release. In September of the same year, Meta unveiled a ChatGPT-like general-purpose AI chatbot capable of assisting users with various tasks, from answering queries to planning trips. Additionally, Meta announced a partnership with Microsoft’s Bing Chat, enhancing the chatbot’s capabilities to offer real-time web results. Similar to text-to-image generators like MidJourney and Bing Image Creator, the new AI assistant also allows users to create realistic-looking images from scratch using a ‘/imagine’ command, and this service is provided at no cost.
Meta AI utilizes a unique model that blends Llama 2 with the company’s latest advancements in large language model research. According to Meta, this customized model is engineered to offer diverse capabilities, including rapid recommendations, providing humor for amusement, settling group chat debates, and generally serving as a resource for answering questions or imparting new knowledge.