Meta — the parent company of Facebook and Instagram — discussed its use of artificial intelligence (AI) during its Q1 2023 earnings call on April 26.
AI drives content discovery
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg called AI one of two “major technological waves” alongside the metaverse that are priorities on the company’s roadmap.
Zuckerberg said that AI already drives content discovery. He noted that, on Facebook and Instagram, 20% of user feed content is suggested by AI and comes from accounts that the user does not follow. He said that this makes up 40% of the content seen on Instagram.
The CEO also said that AI has been used to drive users to Instagram following the launch of Facebook’s video platform, Reels.
Meta’s work on AI is also improving monetization, according to Zuckerberg, with Reels monetization efficiency increasing 30% on Instagram and increasing 40% on Facebook quarter-over-quarter.
Zuckerberg suggested that generative AI — that is, AI that is capable of creating media and content — can be used to create more engaging advertising experiences or create advertisements on behalf of clients.
He also suggested that AI can be used by businesses, especially small businesses, to create agents that are able to handle a larger amount of customer interactions.
I think that there is an opportunity to introduce AI agents to billions of people in ways that will be useful and meaningful. We’re exploring chat experiences in WhatsApp and Messenger, visual creation tools for posts and Facebook and Instagram and ads, overtime video and multimodal experiences as well. I expect that these tools will be valuable for everyone from regular people to creators to businesses.
CFO Susan J. Li said the company will resume hiring once it completes layoffs in April and May, and noted generative AI as one of the biggest areas where the company will be increasing headcount.
Responding to a question on the company’s AI use internally and how that factors into long-term hiring, Li said the company does not have “enough visibility yet into how AI will make our workforce more productive, but it’s something we’re excited about.”
“I think we will have more clarity on that as more tools begin getting developed to enhance employee productivity across the industry,” Li added.
Metaverse still a priority
Zuckerberg further suggested that his firm remains focused on the “metaverse” despite suggestions that it is moving away from that part of its mission.
So I just want to say upfront that, that’s not accurate. We’ve been focusing on both AI and the Metaverse for years now, and we will continue to focus on both.
He said that the two areas would work together, noting that mixed reality involves using AI technologies to combine the physical world with digital objects.
Zuckerberg also said that Meta intends to create an “AI-centric operating system” for its AR headsets and believes it “will be the basis for the next generation of computing.”
The CEO did not specifically mention blockchain-based NFTs, which are often considered to be part of the more general “metaverse.” The company said in March that it was winding down NFT features.
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