Meta just released the third version of their AI chatbot and you can talk to him right now.
Taking a break from their usual updates on the Oculus Quest 2 or ways to ruin Instagram next, Meta announced BlenderBot 3 – a continuation of their previous prototype bots BlenderBot and BlenderBot 2.
When heading to blenderbot.ai web page (opens in new tab) you can ask BlenderBot questions as if it were a search engine or you can chat with it as if it were a friend. If you use its search features, BlenderBot will not only give you the answer you want, it will also share where it got your information from, allowing you to click through to learn more.
Unfortunately, there is a restriction on who can chat with Meta’s new bot: you must be in the US. Some of our writers have tried using Express VPN to spoof your UK location but have been unsuccessful – however you may find that a different VPN is capable of breaking through the Meta location barrier.
AI chatbots have a less than stellar track record when it comes to interacting with the general public
Notoriously, Microsoft launched a Twitter chatbot in 2016 called Tay, which nefarious users quickly hijacked. Tay was designed to learn from the users who chatted with him. However, a concerted effort to spam Tay with hateful messages skewed the bot’s responses.
Just 16 hours after being turned on, Tay was taken offline. The vast majority of tweets from his Twitter account were deleted because they were full of racist, homophobic and misogynistic filth.
Fortunately, the Meta chatbot will likely be less prone to hijacking as it won’t regurgitate user comments. Instead, it will rely on the data the researchers fed it previously. This so-called large language model (LLM) approach to AI might help create some competent bots — like the hugely popular DALL-E Mini — but they have other flaws that Meta hopes to address in its quest for a trusted digital assistant.
If an LLM AI doesn’t have an answer to their question in their database, they will usually do what all parents do when their kids start questioning them about a topic they know nothing about – make something up. Meta hopes your new bot will be able to work around this issue by using the internet to find answers to some questions, although Meta also wants to ensure your bot is providing the correct information from trusted sources.
That’s where you come in. Users testing BlenderBot 3 are asked to provide feedback if they choose to have their data collected.
We’ll have to wait and see how the Meta experiment goes, but if you’re a developer looking to delve into the mechanics behind BlenderBot 3, you can check out its underlying code and training dataset that Meta shared on talk (opens in new tab). You can even request access to the largest available model copy of BlenderBot 3 through a Google Form (opens in new tab).
If you want to check out other fun AIs, here are the seven best masterpieces created by DALL-E Mini.
(through On the edge (opens in new tab))