Why you can trust ZDNET : ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Our process

'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.


Meta just entered the AI chatbot race - with three major product announcements

Meta's Connect event demoed several AI products, becoming the latest company to join OpenAI, Microsoft, Amazon, and others in the AI chatbot race.
Written by Sabrina Ortiz, Editor
Meta's new Ray-Ban Smart Glasses

Meta's new Ray-Ban Smart Glasses will be the first hardware product to integrate the company's AI bot.

June Wan/ZDNET

During Wednesday's Meta Connect event, the company announced several new AI services that will soon be available across its different platforms, including Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger.

Also: Meta Quest 3 hands-on: It's all about mixed reality with the new VR headset

On top of adding AI features to its existing platforms, Meta finally entered the AI chatbot race by unveiling one of its own -- Meta AI. 

If you missed the live stream, ZDNET's rounded up all the major AI announcements during the hour-long keynote, plus some fun bonuses, in the list below. 

1. Meta AI

Meta AI Demo

It's hard to believe it given OpenAI's recent popularity, but Meta has long been a leader in the AI space, developing advanced models much before the generative AI craze began. Despite its position in AI, Meta deviated from what other tech giants were doing and refrained from releasing an AI chatbot following the successful launch of ChatGPT last November -- until today. 

The company's chatbot is called Meta AI, which will serve the purpose of a standard chatbot that can answer basic questions and queries, based on LLaMA-2. Through a partnership with Microsoft, Meta AI will give users real-time information from the web via Bing.

Also: ChatGPT-supported Bing Chat is now available in Microsoft Launcher

The chatbot will also feature Emu, Meta's AI image generator, to render high-quality images in seconds across all of Meta's chat platforms: WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram. That means users can generate images from text directly in their conversations.

To prompt the Meta AI, users can start a message with @MetaAI in a conversation/thread, whether it's through their phones, tablets, or personal computers. 

The chatbot will also soon be available in the newly announced Meta Ray-Ban smart glasses and Meta Quest 3 as a built-in service.

2. Different AIs for different things

Meta AI Personalities

In addition to Meta AI, the company built 28 different AIs that feature different personas and characters to serve unique purposes. For example, a user can chat with a sous chef for cooking advice or an editor to get help with writing. 

The chatbots are meant to feel like you are chatting with an actual person, making the experience more interactive and intimate for the user and giving the chatbot a human-like quality.

Also: Meta's new AI chatbots let you ask celebrities your most burning questions

To add to the human-like quality of the chatbot, Meta has paid an unknown (but surely high) amount of money to convert actual celebrities into personas, including Snoop Dogg, Tom Brady, Naomi Osaka, LaurDIY, Chris Paul, Paris Hilton, Kendall Jenner, and MrBeast. 

These interactive AIs don't have access to real-time information like Meta AI yet. Meta also warns that these AIs have limited databases with information before 2023, meaning some of the responses can be outdated. 

The chatbots are available in beta today and will also be accessible across Meta's chat platforms.

3. Meta AI Studio

Meta AI Personalities Demo

On top of the existing AI bots announced, Meta is empowering users to be able to train and create AI chatbots of their own so that each one can serve tailor-made experiences.

The Meta AI Studio will allow users of all proficiencies to create chatbots, including people who don't code.

Also: I demoed the $299 Meta Ray-Ban smart glasses and they're way better than I expected

For example, a creator could create a chatbot that replicates their persona to interact with their followers. Or a small business can train an AI that can help with customer service tasks. Users may also create NPCs (non-playable characters) in metaverses for more populated VR experiences.

Meta is also sharing an API so that users can create chatbots dedicated to its messaging apps and services.

4. AI photo-editing on Instagram

Meta Restyle tool

Among popular social media platforms, Instagram is not the first to integrate generative AI features, but its latest tool may give Snapchat and LinkedIn a run for their money.

Starting next month, Instagram will have two new AI features for editing images: Restyle and Backdrop, allowing users to transform their images by typing quick, descriptive prompts. 

With the Restyle tool, users can use prompts to apply visual styles to an image. For example, during a Meta Connect demo, Mark Zuckerberg quickly converted a picture of his dog into an origami-style image.

5. AI Stickers

AI Stickers

Supported by Emu and LLama2, AI stickers will allow users to generate stickers from any text prompt across WhatsApp, Messenger, Instagram, and Facebook Stories. The feature will begin to roll out next month to select English-language users.

Editorial standards