Meta’s next AI play are chatbots called personas

  • Sources close to the matter say Meta is readying to launch a range of AI chatbots across its platforms called personas.
  • The AI chatbots are designed to drive engagement on the platforms by striking up conversations with users.
  • Meta may be ready to launch these personas in September already.

The next big play from Meta may involve chatbots.

This according to a report from the Financial Times (paywall) in which three people with inside knowledge on the matter have confirmed that Zuckerberg and co. want to launch a range of AI chatbots across many Meta-owned platforms called personas.

These personas could be ready to launch by as soon as September, if the reports are to be believed. It also looks like the personas may embody different characters and historical figures.

“The company has explored launching one that speaks like Abraham Lincoln and another that advises on travel options in the style of a surfer, according to a person with knowledge of the plans,” wrote the Financial Times.

“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,” the publication added.

Whether a chatbot that sounds like a deceased US president will be enough to drive engagement remains to be seen, but seeing as how Facebook recently surpassed the milestone of 3 million monthly active users, engagement may not be its biggest problem.

The bigger play here might be data-related. As we know generative AI platforms get better and more accurate in terms of feedback and learning based upon how much data is fed into it. This, however, may prove a tricky hurdle for Meta to negotiate, especially given its history when it comes to the divisive selling and scraping of user data.

“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,” noted Ravit Dotan, an AI ethics adviser who Financial Times spoke to regarding this reported personas rollout. 

With Meta declining to comment on the story at the time of writing, we will have to wait to see if AI chatbots are indeed on the horizon.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]
[Source – Financial Times]


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