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Mark Zuckerberg abandons Metaverse for AI

Originally posted on greekreporter.

The news leaked out, creating a wave that will soon become a tsunami with new layoffs and a change in the existing setting, but also an upheaval of future plans since Zuckerberg abandoned Metaverse.

Will there be a Press Release for Zuckerberg abandoning Metaverse?

There was no major announcement or press release. There were just a few subtle signs that the metaverse was no longer Meta’s top goal, hidden in blog postings and earnings calls. A shift in artificial intelligence has already succeeded the king of our future: Metaverse.

After the big announcement, at the company’s annual Connect conference in October 2021, Zuckerberg explained how his firm planned to create a new version of the internet as well as the company’s renaming from Facebook to Meta.

Why was Facebook rebranded as Meta?

Facebook’s rebranding as Meta was seen as a move to shift the company’s focus from social media to the Metaverse. The rebranding was also seen as a way for Facebook to distance itself from the negative publicity it received over the past few years. Facebook has been under fire for its handling of user data and its role in spreading misinformation.

The rebranding was also seen as a way to attract investors and talent to the company. With the Metaverse seen as the future of technology, Facebook saw the rebranding as a way to position itself as a leader in this field.

Zuckerberg said back then: “In the metaverse, you’ll be able to do almost anything you can imagine — get together with friends and family, work, learn, play, shop, create — as well as completely new experiences that don’t really fit how we think about computers or phones today”.

But we are still a long way away from that! And, as a very clever businessman, and since the Metaverse did not deliver what was expected, Zuckerberg decided to cut his losses and abandoned Metaverse.

Reality Labs, the dedicated division that was working exclusively on the Metaverse project to create a new virtual world for all of us to enter, presented 24 billion dollars in losses in the last 2 years. In contrast to the already staggering $10.2 billion it invested in the business in 2021, Meta announced operational losses for Reality Labs of $13.7 billion for 2022. Revenue for Reality Labs dropped from $2.27 billion in 2021 to $2.16 billion last year.

So, since the rocket failed to take off, the CEO is focusing on AI from now on.

Why did John Carmack leave Meta?

John Carmack is a well-known figure in the tech industry, particularly in the field of virtual reality. He co-founded id Software, the company behind the development of popular games like Wolfenstein, Doom, and Quake. Carmack was instrumental in the development of the Oculus Rift, a virtual reality headset that was later acquired by Facebook. He then worked at Facebook and was a key figure in the development of the Metaverse, a virtual world where users could interact with each other in a fully immersive experience.

When Carmack left Meta, formerly known as Facebook, many believed that his departure was due to his disagreement with Zuckerberg’s vision regarding the Metaverse. Since Carmack was a key figure in the development of the Metaverse, his departure left many wondering about the future of the project.

In the light of Carmack’s departure and the lack of communication from Facebook and Meta regarding the pause of the Metaverse project, there are several potential implications. Firstly, it could lead to a loss of investor confidence. Secondly, the lack of communication could lead to a loss of talent. Thirdly, the pause of the Metaverse project could have a ripple effect throughout the tech industry. Other companies that were investing in or considering investing in similar projects may become hesitant to do so, fearing that they may suffer the same fate as the Metaverse.

Implications of Metaverse’s pause.

With all the hype around AI, Zuckerberg knew it was the right time for a change of plan: to abandon Metaverse. And so the moment came when Mark Zuckerberg announced 2023 to be “The year of efficiency” for Meta. On March 14, in a memo he shared with Meta employees, he said that in order to make Meta a better technology company and to be able to survive financially in a difficult environment, changes had to be made.

The CEO of Meta, in other words, announced more layoffs: “Here’s the timeline you should expect: over the next couple of months, org leaders will announce restructuring plans focused on flattening our orgs, canceling lower priority projects, and reducing our hiring rates. With less hiring, I’ve made the difficult decision to further reduce the size of our recruiting team. We will let recruiting team members know tomorrow whether they’re impacted. We expect to announce restructurings and layoffs in our tech groups in late April, and then our business groups in late May. In a small number of cases, it may take through the end of the year to complete these changes. Our timelines for international teams will also look different, and local leaders will follow up with more details. Overall, we expect to reduce our team size by around 10,000 people and to close around 5,000 additional open roles that we haven’t yet hired. This will be tough and there’s no way around that. It will mean saying goodbye to talented and passionate colleagues who have been part of our success. They’ve dedicated themselves to our mission and I’m personally grateful for all their efforts. We will support people in the same ways we have before and treat everyone with the gratitude they deserve”.

Is Metaverse dead?

Yes! Zuckerberg abandons Metaverse and buries it silently, along with many, many jobs.

But it is what it is.

Since 2020 and maybe much earlier, Facebook’s AI Research lab (FAIR) was trying to teach machines how to think like humans. AI technology is not new to Facebook, or Meta.
The phrase “compositional learning” refers to this idea. Facebook’s AI team has increasingly used its resources in the field of health, which has an infinite number of complex problems that need to be solved, to teach robots how to learn more like people. Its most recent study includes a partnership with a German laboratory named Helmholtz Zentrum München, which investigates ways to personalize medication.

Back in 1998, The Artificial Intelligence Research group (FAIR) at Facebook started working with scientists at the New York University Medical School on an artificial intelligence project that had the potential to cut the hour’s duration of an MRI down to as little as 15 minutes. The team made public in 2020 the findings of its initial investigation, which demonstrated that the quality and usefulness of these AI-powered MRI scans were not appreciably different from those of conventional MRI. The method, known as FastMRI, had the potential to increase MRI’s affordability and accessibility if widely adopted.

Donut-shaped MRI devices are frequently employed to photograph soft tissues within a person’s body. A picture of the body’s inside can be created by introducing radio frequency pulses and magnetic fields into the hole in the center at various angles. The scan could take more than an hour, depending on its complexity. This keeps the price of a scan high and restricts the number of people who can have scans in a day.

On February 24 of last month, Meta unveiled a brand-new large language model named LLaMA, which stands for Long Language Model Meta AI. It is the foundational software for a new artificial intelligence system that mines enormous quantities of text to produce summaries and content.

Mark Zuckerberg posted on his Facebook profile the following: “Today we’re releasing a new state-of-the-art AI large language model called LLaMA designed to help researchers advance their work. LLMs have shown a lot of promise in generating text, having conversations, summarizing written material, and more complicated tasks like solving math theorems or predicting protein structures. Meta is committed to this open model of research, and we’ll make our new model available to the AI research community.”

Open AI’s Chat GPT is growing in popularity, and more and more companies, like Google, Microsoft, and Snapchat are investing in AI and exploring its possibilities. Meta is working on its Llama, which is intended more for scientists than for the broader public. It has also launched 2 AI chatbots, Galactica and Blenderbot, which were not good; importantly, though, this shows the steps the company is taking to incorporate AI in all its apps.

Is AI the future?

So, is AI the future? Of course it is! Will you lose your job to AI? No, you will lose your job if you are not working in the right direction: learning how to brief the AI to do parts of your job for you.

Artificial intelligence, which was once the subject of science fiction books and futuristic films, is today a very real phenomenon. We hardly ever realize how frequently we deal with AI in both business and daily life. By 2025, it is expected that AI and machine learning will have a significant impact on all facets of our daily lives, with significant ramifications for fields as diverse as transportation and logistics, healthcare, home maintenance, and customer service. Currently, 57.9% of businesses with Big Data solutions are using AI in some capacity. Because of the sharply increased reliance on AI, massive investments are being made in both the technology and the qualified individuals required to enable its adoption and to reap its benefits. The market for enterprise AI will grow from $202.5 million in 2015 to $11.1 billion by 2024, predicts Tractica. This means that there is a demand for experts in artificial intelligence in almost every industry, which results in a steady job market and excellent earnings.

According to Indeed.com, a professional with an AI certification makes an average of $110k a year in the United States. Moving into AI is a great decision for someone interested in this job field because of the growing acceptance, rising demand for trained specialists, and high compensation.

The world is changing, and fast. It might seem scary, but the future could be brighter than you think!

Source: greekreporter

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