March 5, 2024

Meta is reorganizing its AI teams as it joins the growing ranks of companies trying to create artificial general intelligence, or AGI. Mark Zuckerberg, who has been increasingly focused on the company’s AI research, said the change would help the company “accelerate” its research and, eventually, improve the metaverse.

Meta currently has two teams pursuing AI research: the Fundamental AI Research (FAIR) team, started in 2013, and a team solely focused on generative AI experiences for users of its apps. With the change, Zuckerberg said, the company would bring the two “closer together” as it looks to expand both groups. Meta’s CEO didn’t say how many workers it might add to its AI efforts, but the expansion is notable considering the company has shed more than 20,000 jobs since 2022.

In a video posted to Threads, Zuckerberg said the changes would “support our long-term goals of building general intelligence, open sourcing it responsibly, and making it available and useful to everyone in all of our daily lives.” The change is also the latest way that Zuckerberg is trying to position Meta as a leading AI company in an increasingly crowded field of buzzy generative AI companies and projects.

Creating AGI, a type of AI often compared to intelligence, has become a particular fascination for many of these companies, including Elon Musk’s x.ai, OpenAI and Google. Now, Zuckerberg is throwing Meta’s vast resources at the effort. “We’re building a massive amount of infrastructure,” Zuckerberg wrote. “At the end of this year, we’ll have ~350k Nvidia H100s — and overall ~600k H100s H100 equivalents of compute if you include other GPUs.”

At the same time, Zuckerberg made it clear he has no plans on giving up on the metaverse, which he says will also benefit from AI advancements. “The two major parts of our vision — AI and the metaverse — are connected,” he wrote.

Linking the company’s AI work to the metaverse isn’t a new strategy for Zuckerberg, who spent much of last year’s Connect event generative AI. Still, it could be a risky one. Zuckerberg’s metaverse is still not widely understood, or especially popular. But Zuckerberg seems to think that may change as the company improves its smart glasses and the AI them. “By the end of the decade, I think lots of people will talk to AIs frequently throughout the day using smart glasses like what we’re building with Ray Ban Meta,” he said.