Meta climbs into ‘AI Sandbox’ with tools for advertisers


Meta Platforms Inc. jumped into the “AI Sandbox” on Thursday, its set of new artificial intelligence-powered tools and services it calls a “testing playground” for advertisers.

Facebook’s parent company

said it’s working with a small batch of advertisers on three tools: text variation that generates several versions of an advertiser’s copy; background generation, which helps create images that advertisers can use as the background of their material; and image outcropping, which lets advertisers automatically adapt images to be the correct size across Meta’s platforms.

“The aim here, again, is really to quickly test and learn and figure out which parts of these new capabilities are turning out to be most helpful for businesses to achieve their goals,” John Hegeman, Meta’s vice president of monetization, said in a press briefing Thursday morning in New York.

Access to AI Sandbox will be gradually rolled out to advertisers beginning in July.

Meta’s AI play comes as it continues to pursue the metaverse, which prompted its name change, slashes costs via layoffs and frantically plays catchup in the generative AI race to keep pace with Microsoft Corp.
Alphabet Inc.’s


Google, Salesforce Inc.
IBM Corp.

and others.

“And the metaverse — just like our feed ranking — will be powered by advanced AI technology. As [Meta Chief Executive] Mark [Zuckerberg] has said, we’re focused on two waves of technology: AI and Metaverse. They build on each other,” Nicola Mendelsohn, head of global business group at Meta, said Thursday. “There’s been a thing out there that we aren’t interested in the metaverse anymore. We are really interested in the metaverse. But we’re also really clear that this whole thing is going to be five, 10 years, before it really realizes the vision of what we’re talking about.”

On Wednesday, Meta announced a new open-source AI model that links streams of data, including text, audio, visual data, temperature and movement readings.


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