Meta Testing AI Chatbots for Instagram Created by Its Users

Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently announced that the company will test a feature to create AI characters through the AI Studio on Instagram that can engage with fans and respond to messages. “Rolling out an early test in the U.S. of our AI Studio so you might start seeing AIs from your favorite creators and interest-based AIs in the coming weeks on Instagram,” he wrote. “These will primarily show up in messaging for now, and will be clearly labeled as AI.” Zuckerberg noted the beta test will help the company improve AI characters and will be made “available to more people soon.” Meta launched AI Studio last year to help businesses build custom chatbots.

Meta “worked with creators like the meme account Wasted and technology creator Don Allen Stevenson III to roll out early versions of creator-made chatbots,” according to Zuckerberg, reports TechCrunch.

The “announcement comes on the same day as a16z-backed chatbot company Character.AI is rolling out the ability for users to talk with AI avatars over a call.”

“There needs to be a lot of different APIs that get created to reflect people’s different interests,” explained Zuckerberg on his social channels. “So a big part of the approach is going to be enabling every creator, and then eventually also every small business on the platform, to create an AI for themselves to help them interact with their community, and their customers if they’re a business.”

“Instagram’s new ‘AI Studio’ will let creators make AI chatbot versions of themselves,” writes The Verge, adding that “from a creator’s Instagram, you can tap a ‘Message’ button to kick off a conversation.”

Zuckerberg “also says Meta will let people make AI characters that aren’t necessarily representations of themselves.”

Beta testing will start with about 50 creators and a limited number of users, before becoming available to more people in the coming months. The company hopes to introduce a full launch in August.

Meta is also aiming to introduce “more generative AI tech into games, specifically VR, AR and mixed reality games,” notes TechCrunch in a separate post, “as the company looks to reinvigorate its flagging metaverse strategy.”

A job listing suggests the company “is seeking to research and prototype ‘new consumer experiences’ with new types of gameplay driven by generative AI,” adds TechCrunch. “In parallel, the company aims to build — or partner with third-party creators and vendors — generative AI-powered tools that could ‘improve workflow and time-to-market’ for games.”

Meta Changes AI Labels on Instagram and Facebook After Backlash, Mashable, 7/3/24
WhatsApp’s New Feature Will Let Meta AI Edit Your Photos for You, Android Authority, 7/7/24
Meta Will Enable Influencers to Create AI Versions of Themselves, Social Media Today, 6/27/24

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