Meta launches early version of Llama 3 AI model

Alex Omenye
Alex Omenye

Meta unveiled early versions of its latest large language model, Llama 3, along with an image generator that updates images in real time while users type prompts, in a bid to keep pace with market leader OpenAI in the generative AI space.

These models will be integrated into Meta’s virtual assistant, Meta AI, which the company claims to be the most sophisticated among its free-to-use counterparts. Performance comparisons in areas like reasoning, coding, and creative writing have been cited against competitors like Google and Mistral AI.

Meta plans to give its updated Meta AI assistant more prominence within its suite of apps, including Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger, as well as through a new standalone website to compete directly with OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

Visitors to the site will be greeted with options to try various tasks such as creating a vacation packing list, playing music trivia, getting homework help, and even generating artwork of the New York City skyline.

In an effort to challenge OpenAI’s dominance, Meta has been expediting the release of generative AI products to its billions of users, which involves substantial investments in computing infrastructure and the consolidation of research and product teams.

The company has been openly releasing its Llama models for use by developers to counter rivals’ proprietary technology, albeit with concerns raised regarding potential misuse.

Llama 3, equipped with new coding capabilities and trained on both text and images, marks a step forward for Meta. However, for now, it will only output text, with plans for more advanced features like crafting longer multi-step plans and multimodality in subsequent versions.

The inclusion of images in the training data is expected to enhance the functionality of Meta AI, particularly in the context of its integration with Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses.

Meta also announced a partnership with Google to incorporate real-time search results into the assistant’s responses, expanding its reach to more markets outside the U.S., including Australia, Canada, Singapore, Nigeria, and Pakistan. However, the company is still navigating the complexities of privacy regulations in Europe, where stringent rules require careful consideration.

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