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Meta to launch AI chatbots with personalities to retain users: Report

Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, plans to release artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots with human-like personalities as it focuses on user retention efforts, according to a report from the Financial Times. 

On Aug. 1, the FT reported that people close to the matter said prototypes of the chatbots have been underway, with the final products being able to hold discussions with users at a human level.

The range of chatbots will be able to display different personalities and are expected to be released as early as next month, according to the report.

Sources close to the matter say that Meta staffers have dubbed the chatbots “personas” and that these bots take the form of different characters. Another person with knowledge of the plans said the company has already explored one bot that speaks like the former United States president Abraham Lincoln and another for travel advice that speaks like a surfer.

According to the sources in the FT report, the purpose of the chatbots will be to offer recommendations and new search functionality, along with being a “fun product for people to play with.”

Cointelegraph has contacted Meta for further comment but received no response by publication. 

Related: Meta and Microsoft launch open-source AI model Llama 2

The FT source said that the company may automate checks on the chatbots’ outputs to ensure accuracy and avoid rule-breaking speech. 

This development comes as Meta allocated major efforts toward user retention. During its 2023 second-quarter earnings call on July 26, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke about the company’s latest product and Twitter rival, Threads.

He said he is “seeing more people coming back daily than I’d expected.” Zuckerberg also said Meta was primarily focused on Threads user retention. The earnings call also revealed another $3.7 billion invested into metaverse development.

The introduction of accessible chatbots also means an opportunity to collect large amounts of user data. OpenAI, the maker of the viral AI chatbot ChatGPT, has been hit with a class-action lawsuit over alleged data theft via its own bots. 

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