In a live demonstration, he created a basic virtual world, including an island, trees, and a beach, using the AI-enabled Builder Bot. Zuckerberg also announced his plan to create a universal speech translator. “The ability to communicate with anyone in any language is a superpower that has been dreamed of forever,” he said.
Zuckerberg said the Builder Bot is part of Meta's CAIRaoke project to develop AI assistants and allow "AI to see the world from our experience" as people enter virtual reality with headsets or glasses. And the AI systems that manage Meta's virtual worlds promised to protect privacy and be transparent and responsible.
Facebook has been investing in artificial intelligence for the last 10 years and has one of the world's leading experts, Yann LeCun, at the head of artificial intelligence.
In January, it also announced that it was building a new artificial intelligence supercomputer, which it aims to be the world's fastest when completed by mid-2022.
Facebook changed the company name to Meta in October, following the comments of whistleblower Frances Haugen. At the time, Zuckerberg talked about an expansive Metaverse where people can work, play and chat, accessible via VR headsets like Meta Quest, formerly Oculus. And Meta plans to hire 10,000 people in Europe to help build it.
The potential of the Metaverse is huge, but critics have asked whether large corporations should be allowed to dominate the creation of such worlds and how safe users would be.
Roger McNamee, one of Facebook's early investors, said the company should be prevented from creating a "dystopic" Metaverse, given how its social network failed to keep user data private or prevent misinformation and hate speech.
Meta tech chief Andrew Bosworth acknowledged that Metaverse will be more difficult than existing digital platforms, especially given the long-term goal of many companies interacting in the same space. But it promised to let users control the experience.
After reports of women feeling harassed on the Meta VR platform Horizon Worlds, the company quickly introduced a feature called 'Personal Boundary' to protect avatars from "unwanted interactions."