Mark Zuckerberg said the word 'AI' no less than 27 times during a Meta earnings call this week

AI was the buzzword of the day during Meta's earnings call on Wednesday.
AI was the buzzword of the day during Meta's earnings call on Wednesday.GERARD JULIEN/AFP via Getty Images
  • Mark Zuckerberg referenced AI about 27 times at Meta's earnings call on Wednesday.

  • The CEO said AI is a "key theme" but denied the company is moving away from its metaverse plans.

  • Google and Microsoft CEOs also referenced the buzzword dozens of times in their own earnings calls.

Mark Zuckerberg was careful to remind investors on Wednesday that Meta is very much invested in the AI arms race underway in the tech industry.

The CEO mentioned AI no less than 22 times during his roughly 11 minute opening presentation and five more times as he answered questions throughout the meeting. Overall, the word "AI" was used 57 times on Wednesday between Zuckerberg, analysts' questions, and comments from Meta CFO Susan Li.

Zuckerberg said that artificial intelligence was a "key theme" for Meta and added that AI  will "impact every single one of our apps and services." The company's AI work has already begun to boost its family of apps — including Instagram, which Zuckerberg said saw a 24% boost in the amount of time people spent on it after the company launched AI-powered Reels.

"I think there's an opportunity to introduce AI agents to billions of people in ways that will be useful and meaningful," Zuckerberg said.

The CEO also hinted that the company's large language model, LLaMA, could eventually be available to more users. Meta opened up access to it to some researchers in February.

"A lot of the work that we're doing, I think, we would aspire to and hope to make even more open than that," Zuckerberg said. "So, we'll need to figure out a way to do that."

Despite the emphasis on artificial intelligence, Zuckerberg said the company isn't abandoning its plans for the metaverse.

"A narrative has developed that we're somehow moving away from focusing on the metaverse vision, so I just want to say upfront that that's not accurate," Zuckerberg said. "We've been focusing on both AI and the metaverse for years now, and we will continue to focus on both."

During the meeting, Zuckerberg spent about six minutes discussing his plans for AI and less than 90 seconds on the metaverse. At the previous earnings call in February, Zuckerberg referenced AI about 16 times and before OpenAI's ChatGPT made headlines in November, he addressed it 9 times.

A spokesperson for Meta declined to comment.

Meta isn't the only company making sure Wall Street knows about its efforts in AI. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella mentioned AI and the company's partnership with OpenAI about 29 times during his opening comments on Tuesday. And Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai used the word at least 33 times during his introductory statements on Tuesday.

Reuters previously reported that Meta head of infrastructure Santosh Janardhan had warned the company last year that it had a "significant gap" when it came to adopting artificial intelligence across its platforms. AI systems require more computing power, as its training requires the system to sift through a large amount of data. An analyst previously told The Information that OpenAI's chatbot could cost as much as $700,000 a day due to its need for computing power and expensive servers.

On Wednesday, Meta's CFO said that the company expects to spend about $30 billion to $33 billion in 2023 to support its "ongoing build out of AI capacity to support ads, Feed and Reels, along with an increased investment in capacity for our Generative AI initiatives."

Meta's stock jumped 14% on Thursday after the company's earnings beat Wall Street expectations.

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