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Meta is reportedly working on AI chatbots with personas to retain users

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Facebook's parent company Meta is reportedly working on chatbots with personas in an attempt to retain and attract new users to its platforms.

In a report published by the Financial Times (Paywall), the sources close to the plan noted that the tech giant is currently working on various humanlike chatbots that will soon be able to have conversations with the users. These chatbots will be able to take personas to simulate conversations with different individuals.

These people said some of the chatbots, which staffers have dubbed “personas”, take the form of different characters. The company has explored launching one that speaks like Abraham Lincoln and another that advises on travel options in the style of a surfer, according to a person with knowledge of the plans.

The launch of chatbots will be Meta's two-pronged approach to retaining as well as getting new user from other platforms like TikTok. With the introduction of chatbots, the tech giant hopes to renew user's interest as well as collect user data to provide better targeted advertisements.

On top of boosting engagement, chatbots could collect vast new amounts of data on users’ interests, said experts. That could help Meta better target users with more relevant content and adverts. Most of Meta’s $117bn-a-year in revenues come from advertising.

During the earrings call last week, Mark Zuckerberg mentioned that the tech giant has AI products in its roadmap for the coming months. He also said that he envisions AI as "agents that act as assistants, coaches or that can help you interact with businesses and creators", further adding, "We don’t think that there’s going to be one single AI that people interact with".

According to Financial Times Meta is expected to launch the first chatbots based on personas by the next month. Meta is investing heavily in generative AI with one person noting, “Zuckerberg is spending all his energy and time on ideating about this".

The company has been busy acquiring GPUs and other hardware that it will require to power these Large Language Models (LLM). The new AI efforts from Meta will build upon the existing Llama 2 LLM model that was launched last month.

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