Meta’s chief AI scientist, Yann LeCun, sounded the alarm to CEO Mark Zuckerberg about the potential threat posed by OpenAI’s ChatGPT just six weeks after its launch in November 2022, according to sources at Meta’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California.
LeCun reportedly told Zuckerberg that Meta needed to catch up with OpenAI’s technology and develop its own AI assistant to stay competitive.
He warned that if Meta didn’t focus on its AI efforts, platforms like Facebook and Instagram could face obsolescence.
Initially, Zuckerberg remained silent in response to LeCun’s concerns, and the comments reportedly irked him. However, later that evening, during dinner, he had a change of heart.
“I have been thinking about what you said,” Zuckerberg told LeCun, according to a source. “And I think you’re right.”
In response, Meta moved quickly to release its own open-sourced AI model. By February, Meta had renamed its large language model from Genesis to LLaMA and made it available to external researchers.
Meta’s AI Challenges in the Innovation Race
However, Meta faced challenges, including a security breach that resulted in the model’s code being leaked on 4chan.
This raised concerns about the model’s vulnerability to misuse. Senators Josh Hawley and Richard Blumenthal expressed concerns about Meta’s release of LLaMA, alleging that the company had not conducted adequate risk assessments.
Meta’s competitors, including Google and Microsoft, were also rushing to launch their own AI chatbots in response to OpenAI’s ChatGPT.
Microsoft faced criticism for its Bing search engine, while Google’s chatbot Bard received mixed reviews.
Despite these challenges, Meta continued its AI development efforts, releasing Llama 2 in July and unveiling its Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses and AI chatbots portraying celebrities like Paris Hilton and Snoop Dogg in September.
The race to develop advanced AI technologies remains competitive, with tech giants striving to stay at the forefront of AI innovation.
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