Meta’s Zuckerberg creates council to advise on AI products

The CEO also urged investors to be patient, noting that many of the company’s AI efforts will not yield immediate financial returns. — REUTERS/Carlos Barria//File Photo

Meta Platforms Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg has created a new product advisory council – a group that will meet periodically with Meta’s management team and offer guidance on the company’s artificial intelligence and technology advancements.

The Meta Advisory Group, as it will be called, will be made up of four executives: Stripe Inc. CEO and co-founder Patrick Collison; former GitHub CEO Nat Friedman; Shopify Inc. CEO Tobi Lütke; and Charlie Songhurst, an investor and former Microsoft Corp. executive. None of the men will be paid, a Meta spokesperson confirmed.

"I’ve come to deeply respect this group of people and their achievements in their respective areas, and I’m grateful that they’re willing to share their perspectives with Meta at such an important time as we take on new opportunities with AI and the metaverse,” Zuckerberg wrote in the internal note to employees, which was reviewed by Bloomberg.

Meta already has an 11-person board of directors, though one of those members, former Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, will not stand for reelection at Meta’s annual meeting at the end of the month. The Meta Advisory Group will be different than a board in that its members are not elected by shareholders, and they don’t have a fiduciary duty to the company, a spokesperson said.

"This advisory group is tasked with offering insights and recommendations on technological advancements, innovation and strategic growth opportunities,” a spokesperson said in a statement.

The group’s creation comes as Meta seeks to reinvigorate its drive into AI-focused products. Those include hardware devices, like the Quest virtual reality headsets and Ray-Ban smartglasses, but also software products, like Meta’s AI assistant, which the company is offering to consumers through several of its apps.

Zuckerberg told investors during Meta’s earnings call last month that the company would increase its capital expenditures this year to push harder into AI development. "We’ve gotten more optimistic and ambitious on AI,” Zuckerberg said in late April. "We’re at a place where we’ve shown that we can build leading models and be the leading AI company in the world. And that opens up a lot of additional opportunities beyond just ones that are the most obvious ones for us.”

The CEO also urged investors to be patient, noting that many of the company’s AI efforts will not yield immediate financial returns. In the race to develop AI models that can underpin the next generation of tech products, the company is up against rivals such as Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Microsoft Corp. and partner OpenAI, and startup Anthropic.

It’s not clear how often the product advisory group will meet, though Zuckerberg said it would advise Meta’s management team "periodically” moving forward. – Bloomberg

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