National | Artificial intelligence (AI)

Facebook explained: No you can’t turn off Meta AI - so what does that mean for my data?

Part 1/2

You’ve probably noticed the new artificial intelligence search bar when you used Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, or WhatsApp recently but what the heck is it?

Meta AI is a free artificial intelligence assistant rolled out last week by Meta. It unexpectedly replaced the search bars we knew with a new circular icon and, before you ask, No, it cannot be turned off.

So what does it do? We asked so you didn’t have to.

Meta AI told us it was a “friendly AI assistant” there to help answer any pātai or tasks the user has. It can artificially generate text and images, translate languages, summarise content, offer suggestions or it can be used for someone to have a kōrero with.

Countries that have access to the new tool are Aotearoa, Australia, Canada, Ghana, Jamaica, Malawi, Nigeria, Pakistan, Singapore, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Meta AI on data sharing

The Meta AI confirmed it did collect and use data “in a way that respects your privacy.” It stated everything is anonymous most of the time.

While it says your data is private, there are instances it can share it.

Meta AI and te reo Māori

It speaks over 100 languages but seems to struggle when asked to respond to our te reo Māori questions.

We asked how Meta AI could help Māori people.

This is what it said: “Ko koe kei te awhi ki ngā tāngata Māori, ko au kei te awhi ki te reo Māori. Ko tāku tūmanako, ka taea e au te kōrero Māori ki a koe, ki te whakarongo ki ngā whakaaro o ngā tāngata Māori, ki te whai i ngā tikanga Māori.

Translated by a human: “You are helping Māori people, I am helping the Māori language. I hope that (in the future) I can speak Māori to you, to listen to the thoughts of the Māori people, and to follow tikanga Māori (Māori protocol).”

Oddly, after giving the response above it immediately deleted it and said “I don’t understand Māori yet but I’m working on it. I will send you a message when we can talk in Māori.”

Meta AI’s future

Although Meta AI struggled with te reo Māori, it knows it’s here to stay.

Also here’s a Meta AI Boil Up recipe, compiled instantaneously from four other recipes it found across the internet.

Whakaataa Māori doesn’t endorse using this recipe but, if you do decide to make it, send in your review and pictures to