Meta’s Integration of AI on Its Platforms Confuses, Irritates Users

Like many companies in Silicon Valley, Facebook’s parent company Meta has been extremely receptive to artificial intelligence (AI) and was quick to incorporate the technology into its main social media platform, Facebook. However, Meta’s attempts to integrate its AI assistant in all its mobile applications have spread confusion and even irritation among many users.

The sudden appearance of Meta’s AI-powered assistant in its flagship apps may be a significant milestone for the tech giant, but many of its users aren’t quite as pleased.

With most technology companies jumping onto the artificial intelligence train in recent months, Meta did not waste any time unveiling an in-house artificial intelligence-powered assistant dubbed Meta AI. Last week, the company announced that it would integrate Meta AI into Facebook feeds and the search bar on all of Meta’s largest platforms.

However, now that the AI assistant is available in at least 12 countries, users have expressed irritation at the integration of the AI assistant in WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook search functions and how it has impacted the apps’ usability. For instance, the blue send button on Instagram and Facebook search function leads to Meta AI instead of the usual search results, leaving many users who were unaware of the change confused.

Furthermore, the search suggestions button with a blue circular function will also trigger Meta AI, but users can still conduct usual searches by tapping “Enter” or the results with a gray magnifying glass icon, an extra step that has likely left many users confused.

Complaints about the integration of AI on Meta’s platforms started streaming in through the weekend with regular Instagram users being among the first to note the changes. For instance, 29-year-old Michael Taylor was trying to find a certain band’s Instagram account and tapped a suggested search result, causing a Meta AI chat message prompt to pop up instead of taking him to the page he was looking for.

He later posted on social media platform X that integrating AI into Instagram made its search function “so much worse’; he posited that Meta was seeking a solution to a nonexistent problem.

Another post in the public Facebook group “Middle Aged And Boomers Unite”’ decrying the addition of AI tools also gained 13,000 positive reactions in a day.

Meta, on the other hand, has made significant but low-key investments in artificial intelligence and now says its open-source Llama 3 is as good as the best AI models currently on the market. The company recently announced that it would introduce Llama 3 to several platforms, including Google Cloud and Amazon AWS, with the claim that it is the best open-source model of its class — period.

As enterprises such as Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) continue making advances in availing affordable AI software and other hardware, users are likely to see these technologies deployed in more everyday systems and applications.

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