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RIP, metaspace! | TechNews.bg

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RIP, metaspace!  |  TechNews.bg

After the super success of the social network Facebook, Zuckerberg bet $36 billion on a virtual communication technology that he could not bring to life (photo: CC0 Public Domain)

“Dear Kindred, we are gathered here today to remember the metaverse that was quietly abandoned a few weeks ago by its grieving adoptive father, Mark Zuckerberg. Those of you with a sharper memory will recall how in October 2021, Zuki excitedly announced the arrival of his new child, whom he playfully nicknamed “Future.”

With approximately such words and comments, Western analysts described what has been happening lately with the company, which was renamed from “Facebook” to “Meta”. Metaspace will become “the successor to the mobile Internet,” Zuki told a stunned audience of gullible news reporters and cynical Wall Street analysts in the fall of 2021.

“We’ll be able to feel present — like we’re right there with people, no matter how far away we actually are.” And no expense would be spared to ensure that the plan met its expected fate.

At least on the last question, Zuki kept his word. He set himself the goal of hiring 10,000 engineers in Europe alone and poured countless piles of money into making sure this idea became a reality. By the end of last October, the project had absorbed $36 billion.

But as a result of the investment, there was not much to show from the actual result. We’ve only seen an expensive video in which Zuki (who always manages to look like his virtual reality avatar) talks about how good it will be – “the experiences we’ll feel, what the creative economy will build and the technology that needs to be invented.” .

That last phrase is noteworthy: what actually emerged was a virtual reality platform called Horizon Worlds, accessible only through an awkward and clunky Oculus headset. Well, and a virtual wasteland populated by textureless, featureless, legless avatars and landscapes that, as Forbes put it, “look like crappy Roblox levels.”

So, on or about March 18, Zuki quietly ordered the new cub to be buried. Because he had just discovered that a new contender for the role of “The Future” had suddenly appeared, and he realized to his chagrin that while he was nursing the weakling, he hadn’t noticed the new hero in the neighborhood. And it’s called “AI,” and now Meta is lagging behind in the race to get to that new future.

Under the circumstances, you’d think a guy who just blew $36 billion of his company’s money in pursuit of a personal obsession would be a little more careful with his words and incantations, right? Nothing! Why? Because he has absolute control over the company. Zuki has complete power and can do whatever he wants with his company – including selling the company in defiance of the board of directors – and no one can stop him.

But what if the super-boss now decides to bet on big language models and AI? This is exactly what buried the metaspace.

Since April, Zuckerberg has been talking about his company’s plans for… AI. While discussing Meta’s business results for the most recent quarter, Zuckerberg mentioned “AI” at least 27 times within an hour! He shared some of the most detailed plans yet for how the technology will integrate more deeply into Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and other apps.

The super-boss also said that generative AI will “literally touch every single one” of Meta’s products. He argued that his company is “no longer behind” in AI research.

Perhaps the catalyst for this move was a White House AI summit that invited the CEOs of some of the most important tech companies in the AI ​​world. US Vice President Kamala Harris and several senior administration officials hosted the event. President Joe Biden also stopped by.

This was a critical moment for the future of AI technology. OpenAI was there, Google and Microsoft were present, but Meta was absent. An unnamed White House official told CNN that Meta was skipped because the meeting “was focused on companies that are currently leading the way in the AI ​​space,” particularly “from a consumer-facing product perspective.”

While Zuckerberg’s new obsession could be seen as a dive into AI hype, it also seems like he’s trying to draw attention to his company’s “long history” when it comes to investing in AI. For years, Meta has developed a world-class research team to develop artificial intelligence. He recently published new research in the world of artificial intelligence, taking a significantly different open-source approach that may give him an edge over his peers.

And Meta appears to be preparing to commercialize the team’s work to date, assembling a new top-level product team focused on bringing generative AI to the company’s core applications.

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