Overnight Asia time, Meta’s artificial intelligence (AI) section launched a Facebook livestream to explain how AI is being used to develop the metaverse and to announce a new AI-enabled voice assistant application that will give Apple’s Siri a run for its money.
Last year, the social media behemoth changed its name to “Meta” to symbolize a shift in the company’s focus to the metaverse, igniting a scramble among businesses to capitalize on the newfound interest in the issue.
“The way that we use computers now adapts much more to what you’re doing, and as devices have gotten better at understanding and anticipating what we want, they’ve also gotten more useful,”
So, Meta CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg says early in the livestream.
“Now, I expect that these trends will only increase in the future.”
Unlike Siri or Amazon’s Alexa, which are limited to people’s phones or smart home terminals, Meta’s new assistant “CAIRaoke” (pronounced karaoke) will function as an augmented reality program through a set of smart glasses. Through a heads-up display in the lenses, it can deliver visual clues, recommendations, and analyses based on what the user sees.
Meta has prioritized voice recognition in its AI development and has begun training algorithms on actual speech rather than text-based learning.
Many AI systems have been chastised for harboring the developers’ unconscious prejudices — for example, facial recognition software often performs better when detecting white, male faces because that is the data set on which it was trained.
The same can be said for translation services, which frequently employ English as the default language and a point of reference for all translations. By teaching its computers to translate directly between languages, Meta hopes to circumvent these biases.
It is envisaged that in the near future, systems like CAIRaoke and others in the metaverse will be able to give real-time speech-to-speech translation. Zuckerberg claims that five years ago, their programs could only translate a dozen languages, but that by the end of the year, they will be able to translate over 100 languages, including those with minimal online presence.
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