Meta is putting AI front and center in its apps, and some users are annoyed

Meta’s AI-powered assistant is suddenly everywhere in its flagship apps, and some users aren’t thrilled.

The company announced late last week that its assistant, Meta AI, would now be integrated into Facebook feeds as well as the search bar on its biggest platforms. It’s also now available in at least a dozen additional countries.

But users were quick to express their dissatisfaction with the sudden integration of Meta AI into the search function on Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp.

Clicking the blue submit button in the search bar on Instagram and Facebook now opens Meta AI instead of the regular search results, causing confusion for some users. Tapping the search suggestions with the blue circular Meta AI icon will also trigger the AI ​​assistant. (Users can still search by pressing Enter or tapping results with the gray magnifying glass icon.)

Complaints began pouring in throughout the weekend, with most appearing to come from frequent Instagram users who immediately noticed the change.

Michael Taylor, 29, said he was trying to find a group’s Instagram account on Friday when he tapped on a suggested search result, prompting Meta AI to pop up with a chat message. He later posted on that the change “made their search function much worse.”

“I think it’s about trying to find a solution to something that wasn’t a problem,” Taylor said, adding, “If I go to Instagram for banana bread recipes, I search a reel, not a wall of text that could be a collection of data from different recipes.

Meta has invested heavily in its AI efforts, and while they may not have generated as much buzz as OpenAI’s ChatGPT, the company says its new open source Llama 3 can compete with the best models of the moment. Also on Thursday, the company announced that it would introduce the model for use on various platforms, including Amazon’s AWS and Google Cloud.

“We believe these are best-in-class open source models, period,” the company said in a blog post. “To support our long-standing open approach, we are putting Llama 3 back into the hands of the community. We want to launch the next wave of AI innovation across the stack: from applications to developer tools to assessments to inference optimizations and more. “

The decision to make Llama 3 “available for broad use” while putting its Meta AI assistant in the hands of so many users could be the largest deployment of generative AI technology ever.

But that doesn’t mean users agree. Some expressed disappointment in being able to disable the feature, although some online exchanged tips about unconventional methods they found that seemed to work. A Meta spokesperson confirmed that there is currently no official way to disable Meta AI.

“Meta AI aims to be a helpful assistant and can be found in the search bar to answer your questions,” a spokesperson wrote in an email. “You can’t turn it off from that experience, but you can look up how you normally interact with a variety of results.”

The company also announced a website for Meta AI on Thursday, bringing the assistant to the desktop. Users can ask the chatbot to find upcoming events, recommend restaurants, or “imagine” an artistic rendering based on a text prompt.

Even as Meta struggles to systematically regulate and label the influx of AI-generated content on its platforms, it has also looked into AI-based features. It began introducing its AI assistant in beta last year before it was fully available in the United States. Its platforms have also deployed AI stickers, AI image editing, and AI characters modeled after influencers or celebrities.

One person used TikTok to express their frustration with “whoever on Instagram (Meta)” is causing the change. The video quickly racked up over 100,000 likes and hundreds of comments from users expressing the same displeasure.

“I’m going to save you a place in hell, because I’m going to drag you there myself,” the user said in his viral video. “Give me back the regular search function.”

And it’s not just Instagram users who are annoyed. In the public Facebook group “Middle Aged And Boomers United,” a post lamenting the change on Facebook garnered 13,000 positive reactions in one day.

“Dear Meta AI, I don’t want to ask you anything, so if you could just give me back my search bar, that would be great,” the message read. “Okay thanks bye.”

Jordan Walsh, 29, is one of those who posted their complaints online. He said that as a daily Instagram user, he wasn’t interested in integrating AI tools — which he often found “arduous and boring” — into his social media experience, but he thought it might soon be inevitable.

He said it felt more like a clumsy UI decision because while Meta AI hasn’t actually replaced the usual search function on apps, many users wrongly assume that it has. , according to online complaints.

“This seems to be a rhetorical move to have AI replace research as we know it, and that finds me a little troubling,” Walsh said. “AI is always ahead of us in everything we do, and this is just another example of that.”

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Sara Adm

Aimant les mots, Sara Smith a commencé à écrire dès son plus jeune âge. En tant qu'éditeur en chef de son journal scolaire, il met en valeur ses compétences en racontant des récits impactants. Smith a ensuite étudié le journalisme à l'université Columbia, où il est diplômé en tête de sa classe.Après avoir étudié au New York Times, Sara décroche un poste de journaliste de nouvelles. Depuis dix ans, il a couvert des événements majeurs tels que les élections présidentielles et les catastrophes naturelles. Il a été acclamé pour sa capacité à créer des récits captivants qui capturent l'expérience humaine.
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