Meta is repositioning itself in the field of artificial intelligence. In the future, AI specialists will work decentrally in the individual departments. The important research department FAIR is located in the Reality Labs for the Metaverse projects.
AI is at the heart of Meta’s work, wrote Meta’s new Chief Technology Officer Andrew Bosworth in an announcement of the restructuring. It’s hard to find a single product that isn’t being transformed by AI, he says.
Now, Meta is decentralizing its former AI organization, assigning people and projects to product teams. The reason, Bosworth says, is that the previous setup did not integrate AI deeply enough with other projects.
Still, Meta wants to continue researching the fundamentals and innovation of AI. To that end, the teams have what are called “AI innovation centers.” The goal is for Meta’s product groups to create a balanced portfolio where AI development supports existing systems while advancing the state of the art.
AI research moves to Metaverse division
The biggest change: Meta’s AI research arm, FAIR, is now part of Metaverse’s Reality Labs division, along with its AI4AR unit.
FAIR will continue to be headed by renowned AI researcher Yann LeCun, who will lead the team along with Joelle Pineau and Antoine Bordes. The previous head of the AI department, Jerome Pesenti, will leave Meta in mid-June.
According to Bosworth, FAIR’s mission will not change: the research division will continue to “drive fundamental breakthroughs in AI through excellent research, open science, and broad collaboration.
However, Meta is giving the FAIR acronym a new meaning: It used to stand for Facebook AI Research, which, for well-known reasons, no longer fits. The new meaning: Fundamental AI Research.
AI for the Metaverse
Artificial Intelligence is a foundational technology for the Metaverse. Meta’s VR and AR headset, for example, uses AI image recognition to navigate in space or track hands. Last February, Meta unveiled universal translation AI that could one day eliminate language barriers in the Metaverse, and an AI assistant that creates virtual worlds on demand (see video).
Metaverse worlds, such as Meta’s Horizon Worlds, could be augmented with AI-generated content, such as avatars that match a world’s style and automatically slip into new designs without having to be developed by human designers. Meta’s neural interface wristband (see cover), which converts motor brain signals into computer commands, also relies on AI to interpret those signals.
Central leadership team to measure AI progress across the company
The responsible use of AI team will become part of Meta’s Social Impact team. The AI for Product team, which handles security and content recommendations on Meta’s platforms, will move to the Product Engineers team. A new management team, led by Joelle Pineau, will centrally evaluate and steer the group’s decentralized AI progress.
“AI is becoming the foundation of pretty much everything that matters at Meta – better recommendations, platform safety, revenue, and increasingly building for the Metaverse – which will be the way most of us interact with AI every day…,” wrote Meta’s former chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer on Twitter.