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Meta bets on Artificial General Intelligence, plans to open source technology

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Facebook parent company, Meta, is seriously pursuing Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), an advanced form of AI that can match or exceed human intelligence. In an effort to win the intensifying AI talent war, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced plans to build and potentially open source AGI technology.

Our long term vision is to build general intelligence, open source it responsibly, and make it widely available so everyone can benefit,” Zuckerberg said.

Zuckerberg revealed Meta aims to develop AGI capabilities and make them “widely available so everyone can benefit.” He did not provide a timeline but said work is underway on the next iteration of Meta’s Llama language model. The company has amassed nearly 600,000 AI processing chips to power the effort.

Meta is bringing together its Facebook AI Research and Generative AI product teams to focus on the AGI goal. Zuckerberg hopes the ambitious mission will help attract top AI researchers, who are in high demand across the industry. Microsoft, Google, OpenAI and others are also pursuing AGI.

We’re used to there being pretty intense talent wars,” Zuckerberg said. “But there are different dynamics here with multiple companies going for the same profile, [and] a lot of VCs and folks throwing money at different projects, making it easy for people to start different things externally.”

While promising broad access to Meta’s AGI research, Zuckerberg said the technology would only be open sourced “as long as it makes sense and is the safe and responsible thing to do.” Some experts warn of potentially dangerous consequences from freely sharing powerful AGI systems.

Read also: How to get Tesla Electric Vehicles in Nigeria: challenges and solutions

Dame Wendy Hall, an AI advisor to the UN, called the open source idea “really very scary” and “irresponsible.” Others argue such decisions should involve international consensus, not just businesses. Zuckerberg conceded Meta may need to reevaluate open sourcing AGI “if you build something that’s really valuable.”

Meta’s pursuit of AGI comes just two years after its Metaverse rebranding. But Zuckerberg insists Meta remains committed to its Metaverse vision, with AGI playing a key role in digital worlds populated by AI characters.

Meta’s massive investment in AI reflects a broader industry shift. The rapid advancement of generative AI models like DALL-E and ChatGPT has accelerated Big Tech’s AI arms race. Meta’s latest focus on AGI signals its intent to lead the pack.

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