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SUQIAN, CHINA - FEBRUARY 2, 2024 - Illustration Meta plans to increase AI investment in Suqian, Jiangsu Province, China, February 2, 2024.

CFOTO/Sipa USA via Reuters Connect

Meta’s AI full-court press

If you use any Meta product — Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, or Messenger — buck up for an onslaught of AI. The social media giant is rolling out AI-powered assistants across its apps in unavoidable ways.

Meta’s AI, quite simply, will be everywhere: in your searches, conversations with friends, and chiming to conversations on Facebook groups. It’s powered by the company’s LLaMA 3 model, and is meant to help you answer questions or complete tasks — whatever you want, really. GZERO searched for Thai food on Instagram and instantly initiated a conversation with the Meta AI chatbot. (It gave five good options nearby.)

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The Graphic Truth: Who uses Facebook products the most?

Chaos ensued globally this week when Facebook – and Facebook-owned WhatsApp and Instagram – went dark. That's because the world's biggest social media platform now reaches more than 3.5 billion people a month. In many places around the globe, these apps are literally a lifeline: many small businesses rely on Facebook to sell their products, families use WhatsApp to keep in touch, and young people are hooked on Instagram. Indeed, if nothing else this week's turmoil reveals the massive extent to which Facebook Inc. influences people's lives — and livelihoods. We take a look at where these three platforms are used most around the world.

Whatsapp logo and binary cyber codes.

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

What We’re Watching: WhatsApp sues India, US to (re)probe COVID origins, mob boss vs Turkish president

WhatsApp sues India: First it was TikTok. Then Facebook and Twitter. Now WhatsApp is the latest target of India's crackdown on online free speech. The social media messaging app, used by hundreds of millions of Indians daily, has filed a lawsuit against the Indian government to stop a new law that would require WhatsApp to trace users' encrypted messages. The law grants Delhi sweeping powers to block or remove any content that threatens national security, public order, or whatever the Indian government considers to be decency or morality. WhatsApp argues this would violate privacy rights, and is willing to fight it out in court. So far, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been successful in stifling online criticism of his government, especially over its handling of the country's ongoing COVID crisis. But WhatsApp's immense popularity among Indians gives the Facebook-owned tech firm considerable leverage, and at a moment when his approval rating has already hit all-time lows, Modi may fear a backlash if the messaging app suddenly goes offline.

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