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Meta boosts budget to build AI products

By , Africa editor
Africa , 05 Feb 2024
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Meta, Facebook's parent company, is increasing its investments in AI technology, and data centres.

The company says its major goal will be building the most “popular and most advanced” AI products and services.

This as the social media company believes that every business across the world will have an AI solution that customers can interact to purchase things and receive service.

Susan Li, Meta's CFO, provided an outlook last week at the company's fourth quarter 2023 earnings conference call, revealing the company is set to spend more than $30 billion in capital expenditure this year.

She said: “Our updated outlook reflects our evolving understanding of our AI capacity demands as we anticipate what we may need for the next generations of foundational research and product development.

“While we are not providing guidance for years beyond 2024, we expect our ambitious long-term AI research and product development efforts will require growing infrastructure investments beyond this year.”

During the call Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, said Meta “wrapped up an important year” for its community and company.

“We estimate that there are more than 3.1 billion people who use at least one of our apps each day,” he said.

Meta owns and manages Facebook, Instagram, Threads, and WhatsApp, among other products and services.

Now, moving forward, Zuckerberg said, a major goal for the company will be building AI products and services.

He added: “One thing that became clearer to me in the last year is that this next generation of services requires building full general intelligence. Previously I thought that because many of the tools were social, commerce, or maybe media-oriented that it might be possible to deliver these products by solving only a subset of AI's challenges.

“But now it's clear that we’re going to need our models to be able to reason, plan, code, remember, and many other cognitive abilities in order to provide the best versions of the services that we envision. We've been working on general intelligence research in FAIR for more than a decade, but now general intelligence will be the theme of our product work as well.”

The Fundamental AI Research (FAIR) team at Meta seeks to further fundamental understanding in both new and existing domains, covering the full spectrum of topics related to AI.

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