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Hate Facebook's new Meta AI tool? There's a way to browse Facebook without it, but you'll have to sacrifice a little.

Published on: May 28, 2024

If you've browsed Facebook or Instagram within the past few weeks, you've probably noticed some changes. Thanks to the introduction of Meta AI, artificial intelligence is now integrated into posts on your feed and the search function on both sites.

Meta calls the assistant a way to 'get things done, learn, create, and connect with the things that matter to you.' Meta AI works much like ChatGPT and other popular AI tools, but many have voiced frustration with accidentally tapping on a query below a post and engaging the chatbot or trying to search for a profile and running into the chatbot instead.

So what's the deal? Can you turn off Meta AI? It turns out you can't. There's no way to disable Meta AI from either Facebook or Instagram in either the browser version or the app version. I asked Meta AI if I could disable it, and the chatbot responded that I could.

'Select Settings and Privacy,' it said, 'Then click on Settings and scroll down to AI settings and click on AI and machine learning.' From that screen, I should 'Toggle off AI search,' the bot told me. Here's the thing: There are no further settings for AI within the main Settings page, and the toggle the chatbot mentions doesn't exist.

Meta AI's help page states that 'Meta AI's responses may not be accurate or appropriate.' That seems to be the case here.

Two 'tricks' have been spreading on social media for disabling the feature, but neither worked when we tested them. Blocking the Meta AI profile on Facebook or muting it might give you a little hope when it takes away the new AI search icon and replaces it with the old magnifying glass, but if you actually press it, you land in the same place -- Meta AI search.

If you're willing to use a very stripped-down version of Facebook, you can visit That version looks pretty bad on mobile and even worse on a desktop browser, but the functionality is there if you're adamant about avoiding Meta AI, which you will not find there.

The good news is that you can still search Facebook via the Meta AI tool. On Facebook, there's an animated blue ring where the search button used to be. Tap it, and you'll see a search bar that says, 'Ask Meta AI anything.' If you start typing someone's name, profiles will pop up as usual. If you're looking for a specific post or picture, that functionality works as it did before. So while the search button might not be as obvious, once you know where it is, the search process works just like it did before.

There is some value in using Meta AI. You can use it through Messenger or WhatsApp to write content, generate images, and plan events. The chatbot can offer ideas and make suggestions below most Facebook or Instagram posts that tell you more about a certain aspect of that post. If a friend posts about seeing the cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C., for example, you might see a suggestion to ask when the best time to see them is.

While the chatbot might be confusing at first, it appears that Meta AI is here to stay -- whether you like it or not. The big question is: Will users eventually embrace, or ultimately avoid, Meta AI across Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp?

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Citation: Smith-Manley, N.. & GPT 4.0, (May 28, 2024). Hate Facebook's new Meta AI tool? There's a way to browse Facebook without it, but you'll have to sacrifice a little. - AI Innovators Gazette.