The co-founders of Instagram are back and their first app has everything to do with artificial intelligence.
As reported by The Verge, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, the co-founders of Instagram, are back with a new social app that looks to merge news and machine learning. Called Artifact, the app will learn the news that you like to consume and update your feed with articles it thinks you will enjoy.
The app sounds like TikTok’s algorithm got merged into Apple News or Google News, but there is a social aspect to the Artifact as well. Soon, the company says that you’ll be able to follow other users in the app to see the news stories that they share. You’ll also be able to comment or have private conversations about those stories with other users.
Systrom said that machine learning was one of the key things needed for the app, explaining that “throughout the years, what I saw was that every time we use machine learning to improve the consumer experience, things got really good really quickly.”
“I saw that shift, and I was like, ‘Oh, that’s the future of social,’” Systrom said. “These unconnected graphs; these graphs that are learned rather than explicitly created. And what was funny to me is as I looked around, I was like, ‘Man, why isn’t this happening everywhere in social? Why is Twitter still primarily follow-based? Why is Facebook?’”
So, why are the Instagram co-founders still working on apps after making almost a billion dollars selling Instagram? Systrom said that “we fundamentally like building. There’s no other place in the world we’d rather spend our time than writing code and building products that people enjoy. I just love it.”
“I think machine learning is undeniably the coolest thing to work on right now,” he said. “Not because it’s hip, but because when it knows you’re into a certain topic, and it totally gets you, you’re like, ‘How is it that just some numbers multiplied together did that?’ The CTO of OpenAI said that machine learning is basically many months of things not working, and then suddenly it works, and then it works scarily well. I resonate with that.”
If you want to give Artifact a try, the company has opened up its waiting list to the public. You can sign up with a phone number to be part of the beta on the Artifact website. The app is available on both iOS and Android.
Today’s announcement comes a few days after the creator of Gmail said that AI tools like ChatGPT could potentially destroy companies like Google in as soon as two years. AI is officially here, and the race to use it most effectively is speeding up.