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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 17 July 2024

Meta launches AI chatbot in India to spice up user experience across social media platforms

The AI chatbot functions similarly to OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Google’s Gemini and Anthropic’s Claude. For instance, users can plan social outings by asking Meta AI in their WhatsApp group chats to suggest restaurants offering 'vegan options'

Mathures Paul Calcutta Published 25.06.24, 06:27 AM
Meta AI will initially be available only in English.

Meta AI will initially be available only in English. Picture: Meta

Meta has introduced its AI chatbot, Meta AI, for users in India across WhatsApp, Facebook, Messenger and Instagram.

Powered by Meta Llama 3, the company's latest advanced large language model (LLM), the rollout aims to enhance user experience across these platforms.

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The AI chatbot functions similarly to OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Google’s Gemini and Anthropic’s Claude. For instance, users can plan social outings by asking Meta AI in their WhatsApp group chats to suggest restaurants offering "vegan options".

Other instances could be organising a weekend getaway and planning workouts. In case you are moving into a new apartment, ask Meta AI to “imagine” the aesthetic you want to create a mood board of AI-generated images to help with furniture shopping.

Meta AI can, for example, be accessed while scrolling through Facebook Feed, so if you see a photo of the northern lights in Iceland, you can ask Meta AI "what time of year is best to check out the aurora borealis”. On Instagram, the chatbot recommends reels aligned with users' search queries.

The Facebook parent company unveiled Meta AI a few months ago and made it available in countries like Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Singapore. India was not a part of the early lineup probably because of the Lok Sabha elections.

The launch is coming close on the heels of a Wall Street Journal report and just a week after Google introduced the mobile app of its AI chatbot Gemini to India that says Apple and Meta platforms have held talks about integrating Meta’s generative artificial-intelligence model into the iPhone maker’s AI system, Apple Intelligence.

Earlier this month, Apple announced it would bring OpenAI’s ChatGPT to its devices while highlighting that it would differentiate itself from rivals Microsoft and Google by placing privacy "at the core" of its features.

Meta’s AI assistant comes with real-time information powered by Microsoft’s Bing and Google, helping users ask questions. Meta AI will also help users generate text and images, besides summarising tracts of text and undertaking writing tasks.

The biggest advantage of Meta AI is its direct availability from popular apps such as WhatsApp and Messenger, so users do not need to access ChatGPT or Gemini just to get help from an AI.

Meta AI is among the biggest implementations of a chatbot as India is home to around 500 million WhatsApp users, besides hundreds of millions on the company’s other apps.

The chatbot is not a replacement for web search and doesn’t have the context of a group’s conversation beyond the text you type in. Bing’s AI and Gemini are hooked directly into the Microsoft and Google search engines, so those prove useful for search tasks.

Besides Meta apps, the company’s AI tool will be available through the meta.ai website.

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