Meta’s AI Personas are here, and the reviews are in: They’re strange. Quite strange.
But maybe right now you’re confused, and, to be honest, I wouldn’t blame you. Who has time to keep up with every company’s latest AI project these days? Here are the basics of what you should know about Meta’s latest offering.
Yet another chatbot…with a celeb twist
That’s right! More chatbots, baby. We were promised flying cars, and instead, we get to talk to bots that can just barely hold a conversation akin to your single worst interaction at a cocktail party.
The AI Personas, which went live in beta recently, were first announced by Mark Zuckerberg at Meta Connect last month. To give its AI offering a bit of twist, Meta created chatbot characters using celebrity likenesses ranging from Snoop Dogg, to Kendall Jenner, to Charli D’Amelio. Oh neat, you might think, I can talk with AI versions of celebrities. See, that’s where you’re wrong.
Meta merely doled out millions of dollars to these famous folks to use their likenesses, but the personas are actually characters who have nothing to do with the celebrities. That might sound like it makes no sense, and that’s because it kind of makes no sense.
Jenner, for instance, is actually Billie, an older sister of sorts designed to give young folks life advice. So you’ll see Jenner’s face, there will be some canned video of the persona’s “reaction,” and you’ll chat with something akin to ChatGPT. That’s Meta’s personas.
What are the conversations like?
Mashable’s Cecily Mauran chatted with the Jenner persona over the weekend and described it as the “most awkward conversation ever.” When Mauran selected an option to vent, for instance, Jenner-as-Billie stifled a laugh. The interactions, Mauran pointed out, are “deeply unsettling” because the personas are an attempt to humanize a chatbot and keep you logged on as long as possible. Basically, it’s trying to be a more engaging ChatGPT via celebrity faces.
Also, if you do open up to one of these AI’s — such as Jenner’s character aimed at giving advice — know that the messages might not be private, at least on Instagram, because they appear to not be end-to-end encrypted.
How do I try Meta Personas?
This is the easy part. You can try out one of the 28 Meta AI bots — 15 of which are played by celebs — by simply opening the chat function in Instagram, Facebook, or WhatsApp then choosing the “AI Chat” function.
That is NOT Tom Brady. It’s a dude named Bru.
Just know you’re not talking with Snoop Dogg, you’re talking to Dungeon Master — naturally.