Meta’s AI-powered chatbots will alter user engagement by providing entertainment, search, and tailored advertising.

A group of chatbots that users may communicate with appears to be Meta’s first significant generative AI-powered addition to its services, according to a story from the Financial Times on Tuesday. According to company sources, the chatbots will not only be entertaining but will also have some search capabilities when they are ready to launch as early as September. Although the goal is to increase user engagement, chatbots carry a wealth of user data that can be used to target advertisements if Meta has been closely observing semi-rival Snapchat.

Unused Seam

When Meta published Llama 2 two weeks ago, an open-source big language model that other companies may use to create their own chatbots, it already had a foot in the generative AI boom. The billions of users who already use Facebook and Instagram are the target audience for the chatbots that Meta is developing.

According to sources who spoke with the FT, Meta is developing a number of chatbots with various identities, a unique twist that would set them apart from competitors like Chat-GPT. The selection of characters initially looks random, but upon closer inspection, it appears that they are intended to reassure users:

  • A holiday advice chatbot sounds like a surfer kid, while a Lincoln-sounding chatbot has been tested. Why not combine them after Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter? Abraham Lincoln: Point Break—fantastical?
  • Honest Abe and other nice, amiable avatars could be vital in encouraging consumers to engage with chatbots controlled by a corporation that is constantly trying to erase the image of stealing your data, but this will undoubtedly be a key component of the offering.

Snap installed an AI chatbot in February, enabling targeted advertising. The benefits were twofold: advertisers could pay to inject sponsored links into user chats (like sponsored ads at the top of Google searches), and the discussions themselves could be added to the mountain of customized user data. The Daily Upside asked Meta about the FT report, but a spokesman declined.

Metaverse: The Financial Times reported that Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg is considering merging the metaverse with generative AI. The source suggested metaverse avatars for chatbots. The source said Zuckerberg was pondering about this all day. If you fail, try AI.

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