Avatar photo

By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

WATCH: Meta releases new AI assistant on WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram

From image generation to looking up a variety of topics, Meta wants users to use Meta AI to get productive and creative.

Meta’s battle with ChatGPT has just begun with the tech company announcing the launch of Meta AI in seven countries across Sub-Saharan Africa.

Meta AI assistant, introduced last September, is now being integrated into the search box of Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, and Messenger. It also appears directly in the main Facebook feed which surprised some users.

Users can still chat with the artificial assistant in the messaging inboxes of Meta’s apps, and for the first time, it’s now accessible via a standalone website at Meta.ai.

WATCH: Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg speak about Meta AI

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Mark Zuckerberg (@zuck)

Meta AI

Built with Llama 3, Meta said this is a significant step in making the AI smarter, faster, and more fun than ever before.

“The rollout of this AI assistant in English will enhance connections and provide millions of Africans with tools to be more creative, expressive and productive. It is now available on phones and in pockets for free in Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi.”

“Meta AI can be used on Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger to get things done, learn, create and connect with the things that matter. You can use Meta AI in feeds, chats, search and more across our apps to get things done and access real-time information without leaving the app you’re using,” Meta said.

According to Meta, the Llama 3 model that the chatbot uses is its most advanced model yet, trained on 14 terabytes of data.

ALSO READ: Meta deploys new tools to combat sextortion on Instagram and other apps

World’s leading AI

Planning a night out with friends? Ask Meta AI to recommend a restaurant with sunset views and vegan options. Organising a weekend getaway? Ask Meta AI to find concerts for Saturday night. Cramming for a test? Ask Meta AI to explain how hereditary traits work.

Moving into your first apartment? Ask Meta AI to “imagine” the aesthetic you’re going for and it will generate some inspiration photos for your furniture shopping.

Meta said it lets users know when they are interacting with AI on its platform and puts visible markers on photo-realistic images that were in fact generated by AI.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company’s goal is to build the world’s leading AI.

“We believe Meta AI is now the most intelligent AI assistant that you can freely use. To make Meta AI even smarter, we’ve also integrated real-time knowledge from Google and Bing, right into the answers. We’re also making it much easier to use across our apps.” 

“With our expansion of Meta AI in English to new countries, we are excited to share our next-generation assistant with even more people and make it work for you by providing real-time information through our seamless search integration in the apps you know and love,” Zuckerberg said.

Meta said the new features of Meta AI include the ability to animate images, iterate on them in a new style, or even turn them into a GIF to share with friends, sparking your creativity in new ways.

Meta first announced this form of connecting with others at the 2023 Meta Connect.

ALSO READ: Uber launches teen accounts in SA to help parents