Seems like someone at Meta is a big fan of the movie “Her”.
Last month, Meta announced its new, celebrity-influenced AI chatbot models, which you can interact with via Messenger, WhatsApp and IG Direct.
As part of that, Meta also noted that, soon, users will also be able to create their own chatbots, modeled on their own images and chosen styles, enabling the creation of custom AI characters that’ll be able to respond in their own distinct voice.
And it seems like that could be coming soon, according to the latest findings in the back-end code of IG.
As you can see in these screenshots, posted by app researcher Alessando Paluzzi, Meta’s developing a new process within Instagram that would enable you to build your own AI chatbot, with a range of customization options for your character.
You’d be able to select the character’s gender and conversation style, and customize your own AI friend.
As you can see in these images, you’d also be able to select interests for the AI persona, then upload a profile image. Which sounds very much like the movie “Her”, in which the main character formed a genuine relationship with an AI persona.
I mean, that’s probably not exactly what Meta’s going for, but I’m guessing that at least some people will use it for this purpose.
Though I’m not sure that this will be a popular use of AI chatbots, as the novelty of communicating with a character, in their own distinct style, will likely wear off pretty quick. But maybe that’s less likely with a character that you create, because if you build your own friend, maybe you’ll then be more likely to feel a connection with him or her (or them), and that could keep you coming back to the chatbot more often to engage.
It does seem a little strange though, a little concerning. But then again, loneliness is one of the biggest killers, and if there’s anything that can be done to help people feel less isolated, even if it is in the form of AI chatbots, that’s probably a good thing.
It’d be interesting to see how users respond to such, either way, and while I do expect the novelty to wear off for many, for some, it could be a highly valuable option.
And if you could also train your AI chatbots on unique data sets, another element that Meta has hinted at, that could be an even bigger value add, enabling even more customized, refined, and specifically focused engagement tools.
There’s no word on when this project might go live, but it looks like Meta will be moving forward with this soon.