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Llama 3: Meta’s New AI Assistant Expands to Africa

In a move to enhance social connections and enrich digital experiences, Meta, the parent company of Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram, has introduced Llama 3, a new AI assistant designed to engage in conversations, make suggestions, and improve user interactions.

Llama 3, which was initially available only in the United States, is now being rolled out across several African countries, including Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, with plans for further expansion in the pipeline.

Seamlessly integrated into all Meta platforms, the AI assistant leverages real-time search results from Bing and Google, enabling users to access up-to-date information during their online interactions. Additionally, Llama 3 boasts impressive image generation capabilities, allowing users to create high-resolution images and animations simply by typing prompts.

Users can access the Meta AI assistant while scrolling through their Facebook feeds, requesting additional information about specific posts. On WhatsApp, the AI can generate high-quality images with improved text inclusion and provide useful prompts for image modifications. As users provide more details about the desired image, the AI dynamically updates the visual output.

Moreover, the AI has been introduced on the web at meta.ai, functioning similarly to ChatGPT, where users can log in and engage in conversational interactions with the assistant.

Mark Zuckerberg, Meta’s CEO, expressed enthusiasm about the AI assistant’s capabilities, stating, “With LLaMA 3, Meta AI will now be the most intelligent, freely available assistant. And because we’ve reached the quality level we want, we’re now going to make it much more prominent and easier to use across all our apps.”

Meta’s move aligns with the broader trend of tech giants embracing AI assistants. Last year, Microsoft integrated OpenAI’s ChatGPT into its Bing search engine, while Google incorporated AI into products such as Docs, Gmail, and Google Search.

This development could aid the growth of artificial intelligence in Africa, where the AI sector has traditionally lagged in funding for startups. According to a Q1 2024 funding report, the AI sector ranked tenth, receiving $4.6 million of the $176 million raised by African startups.

Both Nigeria and Kenya have recently taken steps to foster AI adoption. Nigeria announced plans to enlist 120 experts to establish a collaborative framework for driving AI adoption, while Kenya partnered with GIZ GmbH to develop a National Artificial Intelligence strategy.

As Meta’s Llama 3 AI assistant expands across the continent, it could potentially unlock new avenues for social connections, creative expression, and access to information, shaping the digital landscape in Africa.

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