Facebook owner Meta announces launch of AI friends with their own personalities across its platforms

Facebook owner Meta announces the launch of AI friends with their own personalities on its platforms

  • Meta launches a series of AI chatbots with their own personality
  • Each interactive AI will have its own name, face and skill

Meta has announced that you no longer need Facebook friends; you can just use its own AI friends instead.

The tech giant is launching a range of chatbots with their own personalities on its platforms including Instagram and WhatsApp.

They all have a name, a face and a skill – like Max the chef or Victor the personal trainer who you can go to for advice or just a chat.

In a keynote speech at the company’s Connect event in California, boss Mark Zuckerberg said users could also bring an AI chatbot into group discussions to help with planning – or to resolve family disputes.

The move is part of Meta’s efforts to recapture younger users, who have migrated to rival social media apps TikTok and Snapchat in recent years.

Meta boss Mark Zuckerberg (pictured) said the bots could be used to settle arguments

Yet it also stems from concerns about the safety of AI chatbots, with reports of impressionable users becoming too dependent on their company and advice.

Earlier this year, a grieving widow claimed her husband was encouraged to commit suicide by an AI chatbot that had become his ‘confidant’ to help deal with his mental health issues.

Meta said it had experimented with releasing a range of AI chatbots that “have more personality, opinions and interests, and are a bit more fun to interact with.”

A statement said: ‘There is Victor, a motivational coach who encourages you to achieve your goals. The Dungeon Master can take you on an old-fashioned text-based adventure.

‘And our sous chef Max can take any assortment of ingredients from your pantry and come up with a delicious recipe in an instant.

“These are just some of the AIs we’ve trained so far, with several more to follow in the coming weeks with a range of interests from gaming and philosophy to sports, fashion and much more.”

Meta also has plans to allow users to build their own AIs and collaborate with celebrities, actors and singers to create their own AIs to interact with fans.

However, giving personas to AI chatbots can lead to some unexpected challenges, with recent research finding that using ChatGPT made its output more toxic.

Internal documents showed that Meta’s initial testing of the bots was not without problems, according to the Wall Street Journal.

A bot named Gavin reportedly made misogynistic comments, including a lewd reference to a woman’s anatomy. It also criticized Meta and its founder, Mr Zuckerberg, but praised TikTok and Snapchat.

Snapchat also launched a chatbot in February called My AI, allowing people to connect with them and impersonate famous people such as Tesla boss Elon Musk and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

However, although the feature has been used by 150 million people to date, the feature has caused the US tech giant several headaches, including talking about alcohol and sex with its predominantly young users.