Meta makes its AI chatbot available to all users in India

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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 only supports English and no other local languages.

The company started testing Meta AI in India across WhatsApp, Instagram, Messenger, and Facebook in April by rolling it out to select users. Days later, the company officially rolled out the bot in more than a dozen countries, but not India, likely due to the general elections being held in the country at that time.

Apart from making the chatbot available to all users through the search bar in its apps, Meta is also making the tool available through the meta.ai website.

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

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

Image Credits: Meta

Meta AI can also generate images based on your prompts. TechCrunch found in May that Meta AI has a strong tendency to add turbans when generating images of Indian men. There were also other biases such as consistently generating an old-school Indian house with vibrant colors, wooden columns, and styled roofs.

While Meta said that, at that time, it was constantly updating its models, it’s not clear if the company had made any changes in these areas.

“This is a new technology, and it may not always return the response we intend, which is the same for all generative AI systems. Since we launched, we’ve constantly released updates and improvements to our models, and we’re continuing to work on making them better,” a spokesperson told TechCrunch at the time.

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

Image Credit: Meta

The company said that Meta AI doesn’t have the context of the group’s conversation beyond the text that you use when you mention or reply to the chatbot. The company fine-tuned its model based on your conversations with it.

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

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



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