Meta to launch AI-powered chatbots with ‘personas’ in September

Mark Zuckerberg is set to enter the AI space and join the AI hype by launching chatbots on Facebook’s social media platforms.
Shubhangi Dua
Meta owner Mark Zuckerberg announced the launch of AI-powered chatbots with personas
Meta owner Mark Zuckerberg announced the launch of AI-powered chatbots with personas

Drew Angerer/Getty Images 

With tech giant companies joining the artificial intelligence race to keep up with the new technology demand, Meta’s owner is all set to launch a variety of AI-backed chatbots.

Financial Times (FT) reported earlier today (2 Aug 2023) that the chatbots will launch as soon as next month. With the ambition to boost engagement, the tech giant has been designing new persona-based chatbot prototypes that can have humanlike discussions with its nearly four billion users.

The bots will additionally exhibit different personalities. People aware of Meta’s plans told FT that staffers have dubbed “personas” as different characters.

AI emitting Abraham Lincoln

The company has been exploring the artificial conversation entity that mimics different personalities, including one that impersonates Abraham Lincoln and another that provides travel advice in the laid-back style of a surfer.

“Their purpose will be to provide a new search function and offer recommendations, as well as being a fun product for people to play with,” FT stated. 

The Silicon Valley tech industry is experiencing a surge of competition with Microsoft's support for ChatGPT, Google's recent announcement to launch AI generative tool – Duet AI, for Google Cloud, and Elon Musk's intention to launch TruthGPT as a contender to ChatGPT. 

Now Zuckerberg is joining the hyped AI industry to attract and retain users while battling other social media platforms, including TikTok and Twitter. 

Furthermore, experts told FT that the AI-backed bots have the potential to gather huge amounts of users’ data and their interests. This data could enable Meta to target users more effectively with relevant content and advertisements.

Manipulative or ethical bot?

Ravit Dotan, an AI ethics adviser and researcher, stated: “Once users interact with a chatbot, it really exposes much more of their data to the company, so that the company can do anything they want with that data.” 

She further said that the developments raise concerns around privacy as well as potential “manipulation and nudging.”

The tech company will release more information on its product roadmap for AI in September at Meta’s Connect developer event. 

Zuckerberg revealed during an earnings call on Wednesday that he envisioned AI “agents that act as assistants, coaches or that can help you interact with businesses and creators. We don’t think that there’s going to be one single AI that people interact with.” 

According to Meta’s CEO, the firm is designing AI agents who help customer service businesses and internal AI-powered productivity assistants for staff. 

Meta plans to develop an avatar chatbot in the metaverse in the longer run, a source told FT, “Zuckerberg is spending all his energy and time on ideating about this.”

However, the tech firm has been investing in generative AI and recently released Llama 2, a commercial version of a large language model that could power its chatbots, FT reported. 

A source from Meta told FT that the company intends to construct technology that will screen users’ questions to ensure they are appropriate. 

According to the same source, the organization is considering automating checks on the chatbots' output to ensure speech accuracy and avoid instances of hate or rule-breaking vocabulary, among other things.

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