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The Meta logo is seen in front of a stock graph in this illustration.

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

Wall Street wants more from Meta

Meta is one of the biggest players in generative AI — but, while Wall Street typically loves AI chatter from companies, an episode this week showed that there are limits to this unbridled enthusiasm.

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SUQIAN, CHINA - FEBRUARY 2, 2024 - Illustration Meta plans to increase AI investment in Suqian, Jiangsu Province, China, February 2, 2024.

CFOTO/Sipa USA via Reuters Connect

Meta’s AI full-court press

If you use any Meta product — Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, or Messenger — buck up for an onslaught of AI. The social media giant is rolling out AI-powered assistants across its apps in unavoidable ways.

Meta’s AI, quite simply, will be everywhere: in your searches, conversations with friends, and chiming to conversations on Facebook groups. It’s powered by the company’s LLaMA 3 model, and is meant to help you answer questions or complete tasks — whatever you want, really. GZERO searched for Thai food on Instagram and instantly initiated a conversation with the Meta AI chatbot. (It gave five good options nearby.)

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Meta AI logo is seen in this illustration taken September 28, 2023

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

AI labels are coming to Instagram and Facebook. Will they work?

Sir Nick Clegg, president of global affairs at Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and Threads, announced Tuesday their platforms would begin labeling AI-generated images.

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Facebook logo is seen through broken glass in this illustration taken, January 25, 2023.

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

Hard Numbers: Facebook turns 20, DeSantis’ vote cost, Eurozone inflation falls, Dark money Down Under, Paris’ Grape Escape

20: On Sunday, Facebook turns 20 years old. Take a moment to look back at the social network’s early days – when it was a platform for dorky teens playfully “poking” each other. That was before the Obama 2008 campaign demonstrated its political utility, before young Egyptians showed dictators its threat to their power in 2011, and long before the site became a dumpster fire of Boomer conspiracy theories. And as for the teens? On Wednesday, CEO Mark Zuckerberg apologized to families who had been victimized on his platforms during a Congressional hearing on online child safety.

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Logos of mobile apps, Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, and Netflix displayed on a screen.

REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

Canada averts a Google news block, US bills in the works

Last week, the Trudeau government reached a deal with Google that will see the web giant pay roughly CA$100 million a year to support media outlets in Canada. The agreement is part of the Online News Act, a law that requires big tech outlets to compensate the journalism industry. It’s also an important moment in the ongoing, cross-border battle to regulate these companies.
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Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

REUTERS/Blair Gable

Google throws Trudeau a lifeline

Canada’s Online News Act, introduced last summer to force revenue-sharing on tech giants, backfired badly when Meta decided to block Canadian news outlets from their platforms rather than pay up.

Bill C-18 and the tech giants’ response to it spelled trouble for a media industry already in crisis – traffic and revenue plummeted. It was bad news for PM Justin Trudeau, whose revenue-sharing law was intended to improve things for media outlets, not make things worse, and it opened him to criticism that he was incompetently wrecking an industry he was trying to help.

But this week brought a turn in fortune. Canada reached a deal with Google that will see the tech giant compensate Canadian news outlets for linking to their stories. The deal, which requires Alphabet to pay between $100 million and $172 million a year, is a huge relief to Trudeau after months of withering criticism.

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Luisa Vieira

Graphic Truth: Where does the US get its online news?

Facebook continues to lead the pack for social media sites Americans turn to for news, according to recent polling from the Pew Research Center.
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Meta and Facebook logos shown in an illustration.

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/

New rules for political ads

Meta announced last week that it will require disclosures for any political ads made using generative AI, and that applies to political advertisers around the world — not just in the US. The company also said it wouldn’t lend its own AI software to those marketing a litany of ads concerning politics, social issues, health, housing, or financial services.
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