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Last update on September 28, 2023

Meta Unveils Emu AI Image Generator, AI Stickers & More AI Functions to Come

5 min read
Screen Shot 2023 09 28 at 18.20.31
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Meta, the umbrella company that owns brands like Instagram, Whatsapp, and Facebook, recently announced its first AI image generator, Emu, along with a slow roll-out of AI integrations across its platform. 

The company, which is purposely taking its time to jump on the AI bandwagon, has now disclosed its plans to bring a large variety of AI models and features to its user-oriented services. 

Read on for details!

Emu, Meta’s First AI Image Generator 

Yesterday, during the Meta Connect 2023 event, the firm unveiled its foundational model for text-to-image generation, Emu (Expressive Media Universe). 

This generative AI model produces images from text prompts, like many similar apps in the AI space. And it aims to be easy, useful, and fast. CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated that Emu can synthesize an image in 5 seconds.  

It is already being integrated and combined with other Meta AI models to create user-oriented features across the firm’s social networking and messaging platforms. 

Meta AI Stickers
GIF from Meta showcasing their new AI-generated stickers

AI Stickers for Meta Chat Apps

One of the first integrations of Emu was disclosed yesterday, too, and that is AI stickers. The tech corp is combining its open-source large language model Llama 2 with Emu to bring a feature that lets users create their own AI-generated stickers within its messaging apps like Whatsapp and Messenger, and also for Instagram and Facebook stories. 

AI stickers will be made available for English-based users only for now. They will progressively roll out the feature over October 2023. 

Stickers are much more relevant in the visual AI industry than they might appear. According to Meta, there are billions of them being shared daily by users who like to add visual fun to their communications. Not only that, but Shutterstock acquired Giphy not long ago and already shared plans to leverage that robust depository of GIFs and stickers to create AI features that enhance users’ messaging experience through visuals. It seems they’ll now have a solid competitor in Meta. 

Meta Restyle
GIF from Meta demo-ing the Restyle feature

AI Image Editing on Social Media Channels

Among the upcoming plans for Emu integrations, they also announced two new AI image editing features coming to Instagram: 

  • Restyle, which will be a sort of AI update for Instagram filters and templates: you’ll be able to describe a visual style or design –like “watercolor” or “magazine collage with torn edges”– and your photos will be automatically edited to reflect that look.
  • Backdrop, which is a tool to change the background in your images to AI-generated scenes you describe in a text prompt. From “outer space” to “surrounded by puppies,” your pictures will now show you wherever you can imagine to be. 

Pictures edited with Restyle and Backdrop will disclose their AI-generated nature, and the company is also working on visible and invisible marks for them. 

Meta AI sample
Image from Meta to show how Meta AI works

AI Virtual Assistant Bot

Another introduction from yesterday was Meta AI, the conglomerate’s virtual AI assistant that has been in beta testing for a while and is now available on Whatsapp, Messenger, and Instagram. Soon, they said, it will also be accessible for Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses and Quest 3.

Meta AI is a tool similar to earlier versions of ChatGPT: a text-based chatbot that lets you get information from the web in real time, thanks to a partnership with the Bing search engine. Through Emu integration, it will also be able to synthesize images from conversational prompts.  

Celebrity-Based AI Assistants

One last feature they teased at Meta Connect 2023 was that of multiple interactive AI assistants with more established and distinctive personalities, played by famous artists and public personalities, 28 of them, to be precise. 

Names like Tom Brady, Snoop Dogg, Kendall Jenner, and Paris Hilton are among the celebrities that serve as the base for these unique AI characters. 

While voice and other preference customizations for AI virtual assistants exist, these full-on AI personalities are a distinctive feature we have yet to see other developers do. 

Open-Source AI Foundation Models from Meta

Last but not least, AI Studio was also launched yesterday. A platform where all of Meta’s generative AI models are developed will soon be accessible for developers, brands, and businesses to create their own custom AI applications. 

Be it to create features that can work inside Meta products like WhatsApp or Instagram or to build on-brand AI solutions for their own companies, everyone will be able to leverage Meta’s foundation models to power their generative AI projects. 

This was a big update from a firm that has developed a lot but released very little in terms of AI technology in the past year, something they reiterated now is fully intentional. 

What do you think about Emu and the upcoming AI tools from Meta? Let us know!


Ivanna Attie

All About Ivanna

I am an experienced author with expertise in digital communication, stock media, design, and creative tools. I have closely followed and reported on AI developments in this field since its early days. I have gained valuable industry insight through my work with leading digital media professionals since 2014.

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AI Secrets is a platform for tech decision-makers to learn about AI technology. Our team includes experts such as Amos Struck (20+ yrs ICT, Stock Photo, AI), Ivanna Attie (expert in digital comms, design, stock media), and more who share their views on AI.

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