even though it failed to transform its photo- and video-recording Spectacles into a widely popular product and, more recently, after deciding to kill off its camera-equipped drone business, its social media business.
Snapchat maker Snap has long referred to itself as a “camera company.” Although, as the firm stated on Tuesday’s fourth-quarter earnings call, AR glasses will eventually be powered by AI technology, the company hasn’t given up on the idea of such a future when they are a commonplace item.
Investors were interested in learning how Snap was interpreting the most recent advancements in artificial intelligence, especially hot topics like generative AI. which has benefited from improvements in algorithms, language models, and the expanded processing power available to carry out the required calculations.
One person said that the Discord bot made by Midjourney, an AI that makes images, was an example of how AI could make users more interested in an app.
The CEO of Snap, Evan Spiegel, concurred that there were numerous chances shortly to apply generative AI to enhance Snap’s camera. He also said that AI would play a big role in the future development of augmented reality, such as AR glasses.
The executive said that generative AI could be used to improve the clarity and sharpness of a Snap after the user takes it. It could also be used for “more radical changes,” like editing photos or making Snaps based on text input.
(It should be noted that, at least as it is used now, generative AI is not always needed to improve photo resolution.)
Spiegel did not provide a timeline for these improvements or list any specific items Snap had in the works. Still, he did state that the firm was considering ways to include AI technologies into its current Lens Studio platform for AR developers.
“We saw great success integrating Snap ML technologies into Lens Studio, and it has truly allowed creators to build some remarkable things.” More than 3 million lenses have been created by 300,000 creators in Lens Studio, Spiegel informed investors.
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About the upcoming integrations of AI technology, he continued, “So, I think that the democratization of these technologies will also be quite powerful.” Perhaps the most intriguing part of Spiegel’s brief insight was how Snap sees the potential for AI in AR glasses.
Even though Snap’s Spectacles haven’t smashed any sales records, the business is still working on the product. With the inclusion of new tools like 3D filters and AR graphics, the most recent iteration, the Spectacles 3, goes beyond simply recording normal images and videos.
Because AI can make the process of building AR better, Spiegel proposed that it might also affect this product. The CEO predicted that this would be crucial to the development of augmented reality in five years.
Because artists have only made a small number of 3D models, there are now a lot of limits on what can be built with augmented reality (AR).
According to Spiegel, “we can employ generative AI to help produce more of these 3D models extremely fast, which can unlock the full potential of AR and assist people in making their imaginations come to life in the real world.”
Spiegel used the idea of parents playing with their children while wearing AR glasses and then pointing out, “Oh my god, there’s a pirate ship and a giant monster!” as an illustration of how this might truly function in terms of AR glasses. Then, he claimed, generative AI technology may bring such elements to life.
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However intriguing this use case may be in the future, the current situation concerns a business dealing with the effects of a weakening economy and reduced advertising spending.
The company’s Q4 results were mixed, with revenue below forecasts ($1.30 billion versus $1.31 billion projected) but above estimates for earnings per share (14 cents versus 11 cents), and global daily active users coming in at 375 million, just shy of expectations of 375.3 million.
Investors responded negatively to the $288 million net loss and lack of formal Q1 projection, which caused Snap’s shares to crash after the results.