Meta is gearing up to roll out AI-powered chatbots with different personas as early as next month, according to a new report from the Financial Times. The chatbots are designed to have humanlike conversations with users on Meta’s social media platforms, including Facebook and Instagram.
The report indicates that these chatbots will take on different personas, including one that advises users on travel plans in the style of a surfer and another that speaks like Abraham Lincoln.
The new chatbots could launch as early as next month. Meta reportedly sees the move as a way to boost engagement with its social platforms. Users will be able to use the chatbots as a way to search the platform and receive recommendations. Of course, the chatbots are also expected to be a fun offering for users to play around with.
Meta declined to comment.
The Financial Times notes that in addition to boosting engagement, the chatbots also have the potential to collect new amounts of data on users, which could help Meta better target users with relevant content and ads. Given this possibility, the chatbots are likely to raise privacy concerns.
Meta isn’t the only popular company interested in giving its users access to an AI-powered chatbot. In February, Snapchat launched an AI chatbot called “My AI” that’s powered by OpenAI’s GPT technology. Users are able to have a conversation with the AI, and Snapchat also recently rolled out the ability for paid users to send Snaps of what they’re up to in order to receive a generative Snap back from the chatbot. In addition, the company recently began “early testing” of sponsored links within the feature.
Not all users were happy with the addition of the new chatbot, as Snapchat saw a spike in 1-star reviews after the feature launched. The launch of the feature also raised concerns about how the chatbot chatted with young users about adult subjects like booze and sex. Meta’s chatbots will likely raise similar concerns.
During the company’s second-quarter earnings call last week, Mark Zuckerberg said Meta was building a number of new AI-powered products and that it would share more details later this year. Zuckerberg noted that “AI could act as assistants, coaches, or that can help you interact with businesses and creators and more.” He went on to note that “these new products will improve everything that we do across both mobile apps and the metaverse.”
More details on Meta’s AI road map are expected to be announced at its Connect developer event in September.