WhatsApp Beta Introduces AI Assistant to Chats – Here’s How It Works

During a recent beta release, WhatsApp has introduced Meta’s new AI-powered chat rooms to select mobile users.

Recently at its Connect 2023 event, Meta announced that it was working on an “in-app assistant” for several platforms. The AI functions similarly to Bing Chat, allowing users to ask questions or engage in “light conversation.” Meta also revealed that users can give the AI a unique personality based on a famous celebrity. For example, the Dungeon Master persona guides users through a choose-your-own-adventure game and features a video feed of rapper Snoop Dogg. It’s important to note that the AI won’t imitate the celebrity’s speech patterns or mannerisms; it’s solely the creation of Meta.

While the official release date for this WhatsApp feature is unknown, WABetaInfo reports that both iOS and Android users can try out a beta version of the technology. The iOS version was recently released, while the Android version has been available since November 17th. In addition to introducing the in-app assistant, the update features AI-powered conversations directly on the Chats tab for easy access.

How to Use WhatsApp’s New AI Assistant

For Android users interested in trying out the AI assistant, they must first join the Google Play Beta Program and install the WhatsApp Beta app. Unfortunately, the WhatsApp Beta for iOS is currently closed and has been for the past two and a half years at the time of this writing.

Once you have access to the AI assistant on Android, you can launch WhatsApp and tap the green Chat icon in the lower right corner, then select New AI chat.

WhatsApp create an AI assistant

(Image credit: Future)

On the next page, you will see all the available personas. Upon selecting the Meta AI, it will suggest some topics of discussion to start off the conversation, such as the most popular shows on Netflix. The assistant will respond by providing recommendations and linking to the source of the information. After this, you can continue the conversation as desired.

WhatsApp AI Assistant making recommendations

(Image credit: Future)

How to Try Out WhatsApp’s AI Personas

If you prefer a specific personality, you can choose from various categories such as Sports, Pop culture, and Advice. For instance, selecting the Dungeon Master persona will involve creating a playable character in the story. Each persona features a celebrity or actor emoting in real-time, and the video feed can be moved around the screen but cannot be removed.

WhatsApp's Dungeon Master AI

(Image credit: Future)

After using the AI assistant, the conversations can be found in the main Chat tab on your WhatsApp account on mobile. Alternatively, you can continue conversing with the personas on WhatsApp for desktop, where each one can be found in the left-hand menu with the rest of your chat rooms.

WhatsApp AI assistant on desktop

(Image credit: Future)

It’s important to note that the assistant cannot be created on a desktop and the update is only available for mobile. However, this does suggest that the feature may be available outside of smartphones in the future. It’s currently unclear if this patch is widely available. WABetaInfo claims that Meta has plans to expand the AI personas to a broader audience in the future but does not provide further details.

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