I Tested Meta AI on WhatsApp And Here’s Everything It’s Capable Of

In Short
  • Meta AI chatbot is now available for select users to try out on the stable build on WhatsApp.
  • The AI chatbot can handle various types of conversations, fetch real-time information, generate images, and translate text.
  • Furthermore, the AI chatbot avoids generating certain types of images or answering sensitive topics to prevent misuse.

Earlier this week, Meta quietly rolled out its AI-powered chatbot called Meta AI on WhatsApp and Instagram to some users. Given I never tried Meta’s AI chatbot, this looked like a good opportunity to test it out. Moreover, I wanted to test the waters of what an AI chatbot offers within a messaging app like WhatsApp and what kind of utility it can provide. So, today, I share my first impressions of Meta AI on WhatsApp.

What is Meta AI: A Quick Overview

Before we start, here’s a brief overview of Meta AI itself. This chatbot is powered by Llama 2, a generative text model, along with Meta’s Large Language Model (LLM) research.

Meta AI chatbot window

This helps this chatbot provide swift responses to your prompts without having to make you wait an eternity for a reply. Meta has also partnered with Microsoft’s Bing search to provide real-time information in conversations if the topic comes up.

So basically, it can do text conversations, fetch the latest information available on the internet, link sources, and not to forget that it can also generate images (more on that later). What it can’t do is receive voice prompts or reply in one like ChatGPT or Google Gemini can do.

How to Access Meta AI on WhatsApp

There are a few different ways to access Meta AI on WhatsApp. The easiest way is to open the app and tap on the Meta AI button (indicated by a blue circle icon) right above the chat icon at the bottom right corner. This will take you to Meta AI’s chat. I was expecting that Meta AI would have its page or something, but it just blends with all the other chats you have going on in the app. This makes it similar to MyAI on Snapchat.

The other way is to access it through the search bar. However, this option is currently rolling out to a limited number of users. Of course, you can always pin Meta AI’s chat to show up at the top of your conversation page for quick access.

What Kind of Questions Can You Ask Meta AI?

If you have ever tried out ChatGPT, Google Gemini (formerly Bard), or Microsoft’s Copilot (formerly Bing AI), then the experience is on par. Ask a question and it shows you the answer within seconds. I asked it some run-of-the-mill questions like “Write a good morning message to send to my family members“, or “What is the weight of the earth?” By now, most if not all AI models available on the market can easily answer these questions.

I even tried asking some questions related to real-time events to see how accurate its information is like “Who won yesterday’s IPL match?“, “Who has been cast as the new Superman?“, and “What is the latest song by Selena Gomez?” It answered them without breaking a sweat while adding links to the sources. This is something that I feel Microsoft had a hand in since Copilot does the same.

I also tried some creative writing using Meta AI like asking for ideas for the titles of some articles I’ve previously worked on or an alternate ending to the Star Wars sequel trilogy. I even asked the chatbot some follow-up questions about the fanfic script, and it complied without any problems.

Of course, since we are on WhatsApp, I had to ask it to respond to some of my friend’s texts. It tried but given there was little context to go off, it couldn’t offer a satisfactory result. This is one limitation that comes up when you add an AI-powered chatbot in a messaging app but limit its resources.

Things Meta AI Chatbot Can and Can’t Do

All the Things Meta AI Can Do

You can also ask Meta AI to generate images and the results show up quite quickly I must say. Though not accurate to the prompt that I provided. As is evident from the image below, where I asked it to “show a plane flying over the New York skyline“. It, however, generated an image of a plane landing on the wing of another plane flying over the Big Apple.

But in other instances, it managed to create the exact image I asked for. Like this “squirrel riding a skateboard” or this “monkey doing math“. So basically it is a hit and a miss but over time it will improve. Plus it also adds a watermark to every image it creates on the bottom left side.

It can also translate texts but does struggle with certain slang terms which is not an issue for me. You can also simply just use it to search the web, get recipes, make holiday plans, and more. It is up to you to test its boundaries and speaking of boundaries….

All the Things Meta AI Can’t Do

Like its other chatbot buddies, Meta AI won’t do anything naughty for you. It denies answering or creating images on sensitive topics. I asked it to generate religious good morning messages which it had no trouble doing. But when I asked to create an image for it containing a religious idol, it refused to do it.

This is the same situation when asking it to make jokes on certain topics and subjects. However, I would say it is not as sensitive as ChatGPT. Lately, even the slightest mention of such things on ChatGPT discontinues the conversation. So I refrained from pushing Meta AI to its limits.

But in case you don’t learn, then you might get blocked by it. This is something that happened to us as Meta AI’s profile image stopped showing. But we could still talk about it so, I guess it can’t completely block the user.

Final Thoughts on Meta AI in WhatsApp

Before I wrap up, I would like to ask you, did you ever ask for an AI chatbot in WhatsApp? Did you ever feel the need for it? I assume your reply was a big no. And I agree because it does feel a bit out of place. It is being tested on Facebook and Instagram too, which is great. However, WhatsApp is something personal and Meta AI just doesn’t feel right for the platform.

Going forward, it is a good step on Meta’s part that it prevents the AI from generating certain types of images as fake news tends to travel faster via WhatsApp. The platform has a massive audience in regions like India, so my first impression won’t sum up the creative ways people can use it here. I feel its best integration would be as a search engine on the app to ask quick queries. In its current state, I don’t see much use of it but that opinion might change in the future.

Have you received Meta AI on WhatsApp, if so then what are your thoughts about it? Share with us in the comments below.

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