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Meta founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks during Meta Connect event at Meta headquarters in Menlo Park, California on September 27, 2023.

Josh Edelson | AFP | Getty Images

Meta on Thursday announced its free artificial intelligence assistant, Meta AI, is rolling out across its social media platforms WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook and Messenger.

The assistant can answer questions, create animations and generate images, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a video. Meta AI was built on the company’s latest large language model called Meta Llama 3, which was also announced Thursday.

The AI tool is Meta’s competitor to OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google Gemini but, in a unique twist, Meta has also partnered with Google and Microsoft to provide results from both companies’ search engines.

“We believe that Meta AI is now the most intelligent AI assistant that you can freely use,” Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in the video.

Shares of Meta are up more than 2% Thursday.

Meta AI is built into the search box of the WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook and Messenger apps so users can easily ask questions that can be answered through the new tool.

For instance, the company said users can ask Meta AI for restaurant recommendations, help planning a vacation or inspiration to decorate a new apartment.

Meta AI is also available on the website “meta.ai,” where users can ask the assistant for help with tasks like solving a math problem or writing a professional email, according to the release. Users can log their conversations for future reference.

Meta said the assistant’s image-generation feature will be available in beta on WhatsApp and the MetaAI website. Users will see an image appear as they start typing and MetaAI will provide prompts to help change or refine the image. The images can also be animated into a GIF that users can share.

Meta first introduced Meta AI in beta at its Connect event in September. The assistant is rolling out in English across more than a dozen countries including the U.S., Canada, New Zealand and Australia, starting Thursday.

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