Zuckerberg has astounded online users with his latest avatar advancements. While critics often declared Meta’s metaverse ambitions dead, Zuckerberg’s recent introduction of photorealistic avatars indicates the dream is very much alive.

In a September 28th episode of the Lex Fridman podcast, Zuckerberg had an hour-long, entirely virtual conversation with the esteemed computer scientist, a remarkable departure from physical encounters.

Interestingly, Fridman and Zuckerberg used lifelike avatars in the metaverse, enabled by Meta’s Quest 3 headsets and noise-canceling headphones. Meta, known for investing heavily in metaverse research, has often been mocked for producing cartoonish avatars and awkward animations.

Meta’s Advancements: Photorealistic Avatars, Codec Innovation, and Meta AI Rise

Meta's Advancements: Photorealistic Avatars, Codec Innovation, and Meta AI Rise

However, this time, social media reactions, including those from the crypto community on Twitter, showed genuine astonishment at the technology’s sophistication.

A pseudonymous user, Gaut, known for their satirical commentary, exclaimed, “The metaverse is undeniably real now.” Coder Jelle Prins added, “Only nine minutes into the Lex/Mark metaverse podcast, and I forgot they were avatars.”

Fridman shared real-time impressions, emphasizing the remarkable closeness of Zuckerberg’s avatar during their conversation. He admitted the challenge of distinguishing it from the physical presence, saying,

“I’m already forgetting it’s not real.”

The featured technology, Codec Avatars, is Meta’s latest iteration, revealed in 2019. It aims to craft lifelike, real-time avatars via headsets with facial tracking sensors.

Nevertheless, Zuckerberg cautioned that regular consumers may wait years for these avatars due to the technology’s need for expensive machine-learning software and comprehensive head scans using specialized equipment with over 100 cameras.

Meta’s Vision: A Glimpse into the Future of Technology

Zuckerberg estimated a minimum of three years before this technology reaches the general public. Nevertheless, he expressed Meta’s dedication to reducing barriers and hinted that regular smartphones might accomplish these scans in the future.

Following this recent demonstration, Meta unveiled Meta AI, its newest AI assistant, just one day earlier. Meta AI seamlessly integrates with various chatbots, applications, and even smart eyewear, representing another step in the company’s technological advancement.

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