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WhatsApp releases Meta AI and it can do everything ChatGPT can do and more

Meta AI can generate texts and images, converse, make plans and strategise

WhatsApp releases a new generative AI feature called Meta AI

Meta, the company behind Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram is now rolling out a new generative AI feature called Meta AI within the WhatsApp messaging app. Meta AI can do everything that generative AI engines like DALL-E, ChatGPT, Google’s Gemini and Miscrosoft’s Copilot can do— even better, in some cases, but what makes it special is that it’s using WhatsApp as it’s primary platform.

This means that over a billion people across the world who use WhatsApp for messaging functionality all day long and everyday will have access to all these generative features without any financial constraints, considering that Meta AI is currently free and there has been nothing to insinuate that this feature may be locked behind a paywall yet, and with an oversimplified process.

With Meta AI, users can do anything. Meta AI can help craft a message when you feel uninspired, it can generate any kind of creative content with one single prompt, it can pick vacation destinations and plan itineraries, it can dream any dream that the user wants it to dream— all by entering a simple @MetaAI prompt into a group or personal chat.

Meta AI
Image: 9to5Google

How do you use Meta AI on WhatsApp?

It has only been introduced in selected nations, India being one of them. It is still in a slow-rollout phase, meaning that even in the countries that it’s been released in, the entirety of it’s userbase in that region hasn’t received the update yet. Those who have, however, have nothing but good to say about it. But first, how do you get Meta AI on WhatsApp?

There are two ways to use the feature on WhatsApp: by using a dedicated personal chat with it or summoning it in a group chat. 

The dedicated personal chat works like any regular WhatsApp conversation. You can enter your questions or prompt in the textbox and the AI will generate it’s response accordingly. To summon the chatbot in groupchats, however, you must first type “@” and wait till the dropdown features Meta AI in the list of suggestions. After selecting Meta AI, you can then go on to type your prompt and send the message. This response will be visible to all of the members in the group. 

It can also generate images, similar to DALL-E and a little underwhelming if compared to Midjourney but similar in functionality. By typing “@” in the textbox, you have to first select “/imagine” from the dropdown menu. Once you’ve selected that, you can enter a text prompt that explains the image you want Meta AI to conjure for you. Once the message is sent, Meta AI will generate an image based on this prompt. These images will be watermarked with the Meta AI logo. 

End-to-end encryption

However, there is one downside. WhatsApp’s most prized feature is it’s end-to-end encryption, which implies that the messages between two users are only visible to those two users. Data exchanged cannot be intercepted midway through and pirated. However, the content you provide Meta AI is not encrypted. Meaning that Meta AI will be able to store the information you provide unless you delete the individual chats or request to delete all information you’ve previously shared with the AI. 

All AI modules work by storing information and understanding it. It is no surprise that Meta AI would also want to keep what it’s been provided in order to develop and understand it’s users better. But there are reservations against this feature, mainly considering privacy and intellectual licensing. 

Overall, the generative AI messaging feature on WhatsApp has met positive response, with many users claiming that having AI assistance during messaging— especially for formal responses— is extremely helpful on the go. Meta AI is still in it’s early release stage and improvements to all of its features are definitely on the horizon. However, this step is clearly revolutionary and will have a significant impact on the way messaging apps transform in the near future. 

You might also be interested in: WhatsApp introduces chat filters to simplify message management

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