You can now request early access to Meta AI, a large language model that inhabits Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp. The AI uses Llama 2 technology to answer questions and can tap into the Emu model to generate images. Additionally, Meta is offering a host of AI characters that fulfill specific roles. These characters are represented by a selection of 28 celebrities — Snoop Dogg plays an on-demand dungeon master, Roy Choi’s character offers culinary tips, and Naomi Osaka is the face of an anime-obsessed AI.
The Meta AI is similar to ChatGPT, Midjourney, or Stable Diffusion. It’s trained on a dataset and responds to text input. To call upon this AI, simply type “@Meta” in a Facebook Messenger, Instagram, or WhatsApp chat. The Meta account will appear on-screen (the same way that a friend’s account appears when typing their handle). Tap the Meta account, and an AI character selection menu will pop up — the basic Meta AI appears alongside celebrity characters like Snoop Dogg. These AI characters also have dedicated accounts and handles, which you can bring directly into conversations to bypass the @Meta character selection screen.
If you want to generate an image, type “@Meta /imagine” along with a prompt, such as “create a chicken in a tuxedo.” The image generation system can also spit out custom stickers, though the sticker functionality isn’t fully implemented just yet.
We assume that Meta AI will generate a ton of hype, especially among users who haven’t attempted to use ChatGPT or other alternatives. After all, Meta AI is baked into three popular apps. And, if one person calls upon the AI in a group chat, everybody in that chat will see how it works. The Meta AI also benefits from Bing search integration—it can surface real-time search results, so it can actually participate in conversations about the news, upcoming events, and so on.
Early tests show that the Meta AI is protected by several safeguards. Meta seems keen on avoiding controversial, offensive, or violent content. I’m sure that people will find adversarial prompts and other tricks to “break” this AI, but it isn’t spitting out bomb recipes yet, so I’d say that Meta is off to a decent start.
Like some other AI chatbots, Meta AI is in early access and requires an invitation. If you want to request an invitation, open a Facebook Messenger, Instagram, or WhatsApp chat and type in “@Meta.” Tap the Meta account popup and follow the on-screen instructions to send your request. Note that this AI functionality is limited to English-speaking countries at this time. The AI celebrities feature is exclusive to users in the United States.