Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other executives at the company are spending most of their time working on artificial intelligence, according to Meta’s chief technology officer, who added that the company will not pause such research.
“We just created a new team, the generative AI team, a couple of months ago; they are very busy. It’s probably the area that I’m spending the most time [in], as well as Mark Zuckerberg and [Chief Product Officer] Chris Cox,” Meta CTO Andrew Bosworth told outlet Nikkei Asia. Meta is the parent company of Facebook, Instagram WhatsApp and other tech platforms.
Meta announced in February that it was developing a new team devoted to generative AI, with Bosworth highlighting that the company has been working on such technology since 2013.
“We’ve been investing in artificial intelligence for over a decade, and have one of the leading research institutes in the world,” Bosworth told the outlet Wednesday in Tokyo. “We certainly have a large research organization, hundreds of people.”
Bosworth’s comments on AI come after thousands of tech leaders and experts signed an open letter published last week by nonprofit Future of Life that called for an at least six-month pause on research at AI labs.
The open letter argued that “human-competitive intelligence can pose profound risks to society and humanity” and called for AI labs and policymakers to use a six-month pause to “develop and implement a set of shared safety protocols for advanced AI design.”
When asked about the Future of Life letter’s request for a pause, Bosworth said, “No,” according to Nikkei.
“I think it’s very important to invest in responsible development,” he said. “And we do that kind of investment all the time. However, it’s very hard to stop progress and make the right decisions on what changes you would make. Very often you have to understand how technology evolves before you can know how to protect and make it safe. And so I think, not only is it unrealistic, I don’t think it would be effective.”
Bosworth added in his interview that Meta expects to commercialize some of the artificial intelligence technology this year, which he said would help its ad business. He explained that the tech can help advertisers by just asking “the AI, ‘Make images for my company that work for different audiences.’ And it can save a lot of time and money.”
In addition, he said the AI system can assist the company’s metaverse technologies, a realistic virtual environment that the company has been working on.
“So, previously,” Bosworth said, “if I wanted to create a 3D world, I needed to learn a lot of computer graphics and programming. In the future, you might be able to just describe the world you want to create and have the large language model generate that world for you. And so it makes things like content creation much more accessible to more people.”
Meta said in a statement regarding the Future of Life letter that the company’s “Fundamental AI Research (FAIR) team has long been a proponent of open research for the benefit of all and that has not changed.”
“We believe that the best way to accelerate the world’s progress toward safer and more capable AI is to work alongside the entire AI community. From researchers to civil society, policymakers, and industry – we must work together to analyze AI models and build new solutions and mitigations for any open problems. Being transparent and open with AI research holds the industry accountable to innovate responsibly,” Joelle Pineau, vice president of AI research at Meta, continued in the statement provided to Fox News Digital.