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WhatsApp Android beta gets a new button to open AI-powered chats

Meta AI chatbot personalities

WhatsApp is testing a new shortcut button to quickly launch the AI-powered chat feature in the instant messaging app. WABetaInfo spotted it under development in WhatsApp beta for Android v2.23.24.26, which is now available on Google Play.

The shortcut button, which gives more visibility to WhatsApp's AI chat, is currently rolling out to a limited number of testers. It is present in the Chats tab above the new chat icon and offers quick access to the AI-powered chats in WhatsApp.

To check if you have the feature, tap on the new chat icon > New AI Chat. Next, you need to accept the terms and conditions and then select Meta AI or some other character to give prompts to. In a WhatsApp group chat, you can also type "@MetaAI" followed by your query to trigger the assistant.

Meta announced its generative AI chatbot for WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram in September this year. The chatbot is currently available in the US and only supports the English language. It can perform text-based interactions with users and also generate photorealistic images based on text prompts.

The company is working on 28 other AI personalities in addition to the Meta AI chatbot. Popular celebrities and influencers such as Snoop Dogg, Charli D’Amelio, MrBeast, Kendall Jenner, and Paris Hilton have partnered with Meta to play and embody some of the AI personalities. Apart from Meta's social media apps, the AI chatbot will also find a home in Ray-Ban sunglasses and the Quest 3 headset.

Microsoft, which is a prominent backer of OpenAI's ChatGPT, joined hands with Meta to integrate its Bing Search into Meta AI's chat features. The social media giant notes that its AI personalities, except Meta AI, Bru, and Perry, have access to information that largely existed before 2023, so their responses may be dated.

WhatsApp has been testing a stream of other features in recent months, including search messages by date, video rewind and forward, text unknown phone numbers, view-once voice messages, revamped Android user interface, a new reply bar for media, etc.

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