Meta scraps this year's F8 developer conference to focus on building metaverse

The F8 conference has been paused this year, but Meta will still be holding its Connect event along with a new Conversations conference.

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Meta, formerly Facebook, has decided it will scrap this year's annual F8 conference to focus on other projects that are in development, such as building out its metaverse idea.

"Similar to years past, we are taking a brief break in programming and will not hold F8 in 2022 while we gear up on new initiatives that are all tailored towards the next chapter of the internet, and the next chapter of our company too: building the metaverse," said Diego Duarte Moreira, Facebook's director of developer and startup programs.

In announcing the F8 pause, Moreira said Meta will be holding an "inaugural business messaging event", called Conversations, on May 19 and still plans to have a Connect event in October. During last year's Connect event, Facebook announced its rebrand to Meta.

Last month, Meta founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg held an all-hands presentation focusing on his company's efforts in building a metaverse with AI.

In the presentation, Zuckerberg unveiled Project CAIRaoke, which he described as "a fully end-to-end neural model for building on device assistants. It combines the approach behind BlenderBot with the latest in conversational AI to deliver better dialog capabilities."

He said the company's focus on using AI for the metaverse consists of two areas of AI research: "Egocentric perception" and "a whole new class of generative AI models."

Other companies are also starting to build their own respective "metaverses". The creator of Bored Ape Yacht Club announced its metaverse project Otherside a fortnight ago while Nvidia released an open beta of its Omniverse platform at the end of 2020. Nvidia envisions its iteration of a metaverse would give 3D designers a shared virtual world from which they can collaborate across different software applications and from different geographic locations.

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