Meta plans to unveil Gen AI personas: AI chatbots aimed at engaging young users

Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook, is gearing up to unveil a fleet of artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots, each boasting a unique personality as reported by the WSJ. These conversational AI agents are part of Meta’s strategy to captivate younger users and will be showcased at the upcoming Meta Connect conference, commencing this week.

The AI chatbots, currently undergoing internal testing by Meta employees, are anticipated to enhance user engagement. Some of them may even possess productivity-oriented capabilities, such as assisting with coding and other tasks.

In recent years, Meta has prioritized attracting younger users, spurred by the rise of TikTok, which has steadily gained popularity among teenagers. This prompted Meta’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, to emphasize the company’s commitment to serving young adults, shifting the focus away from older demographics.

Meta has realigned its AI divisions to harness the potential of generative AI following the advent of large-language-model technology, notably the launch of ChatGPT. These AI personalities, internally referred to as Gen AI Personas, are intended to rejuvenate user engagement, particularly among young audiences.

Meta’s ambitious plans encompass the development of numerous AI personality chatbots. Additionally, the company is exploring a product that would enable celebrities and content creators to employ their personalized AI chatbots for interacting with fans and followers.

One of the AI chatbots in development, known as “Bob the robot,” boasts a persona described as a “sassmaster general” with attributes such as “superior intellect, sharp wit, and biting sarcasm.” Bob’s character is inspired by Bender from the animated series “Futurama,” designed to resonate with young audiences through farcical humor.

While imbuing chatbots with personalities can enhance user interaction, it also presents unforeseen challenges. Researchers have noted that adding a persona to AI models, such as ChatGPT, can lead to more toxic responses. Princeton University researchers found that AI with personalities tends to produce content with unintended negative implications.

Despite encountering some hiccups during internal testing, Meta remains committed to its vision of AI chatbots with distinct personalities. As the company refines these AI agents, its focus is on increasing user engagement across its suite of platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp.

Meta’s foray into AI chatbots is indicative of the ever-evolving social media landscape, where personalized interactions are becoming increasingly integral to user engagement. While challenges persist, Meta’s endeavor underscores the importance of adapting to the preferences of younger audiences and exploring innovative ways to maintain user interest and, in turn, generate revenue.

Additionally, Meta recently introduced new ad optimization tools for the holiday season

Written by Jordan Bevan


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