Meta Developing AI Chatbots: From Abe Lincoln to Surfer Dude

New Meta chatbots reportedly set to rival Snapchat’s My AI

Ben Wodecki, Jr. Editor

August 2, 2023

2 Min Read
Abraham Lincoln Memorial with sunglasses
Abraham Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.Getty Images/AI Business

At a Glance

  • Meta is developing new ‘Personas’ chatbots with customizable personalities, including Abraham Lincoln and a surfer dude.

Facebook parent Meta reportedly is developing chatbots with different personalities, as it steps up efforts to keep users engaged on its platform. The company’s new ‘Personas’ feature could come as early as September.

The new chatbot offering can provide users with recommendations and search functions, akin to a virtual assistant, as well as offer a novelty option for fun uses, according to the FT. The goal is for the chatbots to have human-like discussions with users.

Meta's new 'Personas' includes a chatbot that mimics Abraham Lincoln and a surfer that gives travel advice.

Meta’s chatbot plans were first uncovered in June by data miners. Unearthed were features to give Instagram users a chatbot with up to 30 different personalities. Users could customize their bots to answer questions and offer advice. Instagram billed it as a way for users to “find the best way to express yourself and get help writing messages.”

A year ago, Meta released its BlenderBot 3 chatbot to the public so it can get trained on real world conversations, taking a risk that some conversations could be offensive.

Personalized chatbots aren’t a new concept. Snapchat’s popular My AI, launched earlier this year, allows users to customize their chat companion. Meta’s move to create a bot offering appeared to rival Snapchat’s popular My AI.

Related:Meta releases chatbot to interact 'in the wild' with public

Meta’s new novelty feature isn’t just to compete with Snapchat, but also TikTok. The parent company has been trying to retain its Facebook and Instagram userbase from flocking to the Chinese-owned app. Both companies have already sought to capitalize on the floundering X (formerly Twitter), launching their offerings including Threads and text posts for TikTok, respectively.

New Meta products are set to be unveiled at the company’s Connect developer in September. The company already boasts a plethora of AI offerings and may be looking to charge hyperscalers access to its new Llama 2 model.

Aside from social media platforms, Intercom offers custom bots for sales and marketing support teams. And Andreessen Horowitz-backed has developed millions of AI characters.

A Meta spokesperson declined to comment to AI Business.

Read more about:

ChatGPT / Generative AI

About the Author(s)

Ben Wodecki

Jr. Editor

Ben Wodecki is the Jr. Editor of AI Business, covering a wide range of AI content. Ben joined the team in March 2021 as assistant editor and was promoted to Jr. Editor. He has written for The New Statesman, Intellectual Property Magazine, and The Telegraph India, among others. He holds an MSc in Digital Journalism from Middlesex University.

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