Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, and AI researcher Lex Fridman today unveiled Meta's metaverse technology, showcasing ultra-realistic "codec avatars" developed by the company's Reality Labs.
Fridman expressed amazement at the podcast, where they used digital doppelgangers capable of capturing subtle facial expressions and body language, creating a remarkable sense of presence and intimacy.
Compared to the simplistic avatars revealed by Meta the previous year, these ultra-realistic avatars represent a significant advancement.
In the podcast, Zuckerberg noted that Meta has successfully traversed the uncanny valley, achieving a level of naturalness that makes users feel at ease as immersion deepens.
During the two-hour podcast, Zuckerberg discussed AI's role in Meta's products and services, including Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Oculus.
He emphasized AI's importance in understanding metaverse content and context, as well as enhancing platform quality and performance.
Zuckerberg also pledged Meta's commitment to advancing state-of-the-art AI research and development and sharing these efforts with the open-source community.
Zuckerberg further elaborated on Meta's plan to infuse AI into a society that embraces the metaverse as a new form of interaction.
His vision includes using photorealistic avatars for remote work, gaming, and social interactions, offering a heightened sense of presence and connection.
Fridman suggested that the ability to "teleport" into virtual spaces using realistic avatars could profoundly transform human communication and society.
During the conversation, Fridman addressed challenges and controversies Meta faces, including censorship, privacy, security, mental health, and competition.
Zuckerberg acknowledged Meta's responsibility for its societal impact and the need for continuous improvement in policies and practices. He expressed openness to constructive criticism and feedback from users, regulators, and experts.
Coinlive previously reported today on how Meta is working with RayBan to release its AI Smart Glasses.
However, considerable technological and social challenges remain on the path to realizing the metaverse's ambitious vision and ubiquitous AI integration.
Initial metaverse demos faced glitches and underwhelming responses, and public adoption of VR headsets and digital avatars has been cautious.
Nonetheless, Zuckerberg remains optimistic that AI-driven authenticity and realism will eventually win over skeptics.