Meta makes its AI chatbot available to all users in India


After a few months of testing during the general elections, Meta is making its Llama-3-powered AI chatbot available to all users in India. However, Meta AI currently supports only English and no other local languages.

The company began testing Meta AI on WhatsApp, Instagram, Messenger, and Facebook in India in April and rolled it out to select users. A few days later, the company officially rolled out the bot in over a dozen countries, but not in India, possibly due to the general elections in the country at the time.

In addition to making the chatbot available to all users through the search bar in its apps, Meta is also making this tool available through the website.

Meta AI’s functionality is similar to other chatbots such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Google’s Gemini, and Anthropic’s Cloud. You can ask it to suggest recipes, plan workouts, help you write emails, or summarize lots of text.

In Instagram, the chatbot can suggest Reels to watch based on your search query. Additionally, on the Facebook feed, you’ll see Meta AI prompts so you can ask questions related to the post. For example, if you see a photo of the aurora borealis, you can ask Meta AI for suggestions about the best places and best times to see the northern lights.

Image Credit: Meta

Meta AI can also create images based on your gestures. TechCrunch found in May that Meta AI had a strong tendency to add turbans when creating images of Indian men. There were also other biases such as consistently creating old-fashioned Indian houses with vibrant colors, wooden columns, and stylized roofs.

Although Meta said at the time that it was continually updating its models, it is unclear whether the company had made any changes in these areas.

“This is a new technology, and it may not always respond exactly as we would like, which is the case for all generative AI systems. Since launch, we have continuously released updates and improvements to our models, and we continue to work on improving them,” a spokesperson told TechCrunch at the time.

Meta is bringing its chatbot to India’s massive user base of 500 million WhatsApp users, as well as the hundreds of millions of users of its other apps. On WhatsApp, while you can chat with Meta AI individually, you can also take the chatbot’s help within group chats for things like planning a trip or deciding on a movie to watch.

Image Credit: Meta

The company said Meta AI doesn’t have the context of a group conversation beyond the text you use when mentioning or responding to the chatbot. The company improves its model based on your conversations with it.

Meta said it is not possible to turn off or hide the Meta AI functionality in its app. However, people can choose to engage in search without using the chatbot.

The social media company’s move comes a week after Google released the Gemini app with support for nine local languages ​​for Android users in India.


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