OpenAI and Meta are about to release new artificial intelligence models that they say will be capable of reasoning and planning, critical steps towards achieving superhuman cognition in machines.

Executives at OpenAI and Meta both signaled this week that they were preparing to launch the next versions of their large language models, the systems that power generative AI applications such as ChatGPT.

Meta said it would begin rolling out Llama 3 in the coming weeks, while Microsoft-backed OpenAI indicated that its next model, expected to be called GPT-5, was coming “soon”.


“We are hard at work figuring out how to get these models not just to talk but actually to reason, to plan, and to have memory,” said Joelle Pineau, vice president of AI research at Meta.

OpenAI’s chief operating officer Brad Lightcap told the Financial Times that the next generation of GPT would show progress on solving “hard problems” such as reasoning.

“We’re going to start to see AI that can take on more complex tasks in a more sophisticated way,” he said in an interview. “I think we’re just starting to scratch the surface on these models’ ability to reason.”

Lightcap added that today’s AI systems are “really good at one-off small tasks” but are still “pretty narrow” in their capabilities.

Meta and OpenAI’s upgrades are part of a wave of new large language models released this year by companies including Google, Anthropic, and Cohere.

As tech companies race to create ever more sophisticated generative AI — software that can create humanlike words, images, code, and video of quality indistinguishable from human output — the pace of progress is accelerating.

Reasoning and planning are important steps towards what AI researchers call “artificial general intelligence” — human-level cognition — because they allow chatbots and virtual assistants to complete sequences of related tasks and predict the consequences of their actions.

Speaking at an event in London on Tuesday, Meta’s chief AI scientist Yann LeCun said current AI systems “produce one word after the other really without thinking and planning”.

Because they struggle to deal with complex questions or retain information for a long period, they still “make stupid mistakes”, he said.

Adding reasoning would mean that an AI model “searches over possible answers”, “plans the sequence of actions” and builds a “mental model of what the effect of [its] actions are going to be”, he said.

This is a “big missing piece that we are working on to get machines to get to the next level of intelligence”, he added.

LeCun said it was working on AI “agents” that could, for instance, plan and book each step of a journey from someone’s office in Paris to another in New York, including getting to the airport.

Meta plans to embed its new AI model into WhatsApp and its Ray-Ban smart glasses. Over the coming months, it is preparing to release Llama 3 in a range of model sizes for different applications and devices.