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We asked Meta AI how to disable it and it pretended to know

Katie Balevic   

We asked Meta AI how to disable it and it pretended to know
  • Meta AI has sparked mixed reactions on social media apps like Instagram and Facebook.
  • Some users have been frustrated by accidentally engaging with the bot.

Meta AI is supposed to draw from the data it is trained on to help you efficiently do whatever it is you do on apps like Instagram and Facebook.

But despite this vast amount of knowledge, there is one thing it finds hard to understand: its own mortality.

Meta introduced its AI on the company's apps in April. It appears near the search bar, offering tips for discovering new trends and ideas.

Its proximity to the age-old search bar seems to be Meta's way of shoehorning the feature into the user's experience. Some users have taken to social media to complain about accidentally engaging with it — and to find out how to remove it.

After some failed Google searching ourselves, we went directly to the bot. While trying to be helpful, Meta AI gave us inaccurate information, suggesting that a user can disable it. In reality, you can't.

The bot suggested clicking on the "three dots at the top right of our chat window," which do not exist, and switching off a "Meta AI Assistant" button, which also doesn't appear to exist.

We went back and forth with Meta AI for a while. After rephrasing our question, the bot finally told us that disabling it was not actually an option.

"Unfortunately, I'm a part of the search bar, so you can't completely turn me off. However, you can minimize our interactions by using the search bar as you normally would, without addressing me directly or using the '@' symbol. This way, you can search the web without triggering our conversations," the bot said.

After a bit of nagging on our part, Meta AI said we can turn off AI features on the entire device — in this case, an iPhone. But what if we wanted to use some AI features, just not those from Meta?

Major tech companies like Meta, Google, OpenAI, Microsoft, and Apple are engaged in a cutthroat AI arms race, jockeying to produce the best product that customers will actually trust enough to use. They've faced obstacles from regulators, delays, and their own troublesome optics.

We asked Meta AI what sets it apart from other AI bots, and it quickly shared a list of reasons, including its "omnichannel presence" and "large-scale knowledge base."

"Meta AI is integrated across multiple platforms (Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and more), making it easily accessible and convenient," the bot said, adding that it "has been trained on a massive dataset, allowing it to provide accurate and informative responses."

If only.

A Meta spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment for this story, but a spokesperson previously told Business Insider that the bot can sometimes generate "inaccurate or inappropriate outputs."

In our chat, Meta AI touted its "human-like conversations" as something that sets it apart from the rest.

"Meta AI aims to engage in natural-sounding conversations, making interactions feel more like talking to a friend," the bot said.

Great, who doesn't love a friend you can't get rid of?

Are you a Meta employee with additional details to share about Meta AI? Reach this reporter at Signal provided upon request.