Meta is gearing up to announce a generative artificial intelligence chatbot (internally dubbed as ‘Gen AI Personas’) that is aimed at enticing younger users to the world of AI chatbots. The new chatbot is expected to launch during Meta’s Connect event on September 27, and will introduce some familiar but… dated ‘personas’.
The Verge notes that the chatbots will come with different personas that will promote more humanlike, engaging conversations to appeal to younger users. One of the ‘sassy’ robot personas is inspired by Bender from Futurama and Alvin the Alien.
Meta is planning to add “dozens” of familiar faces to its chatbot roster and even plans on creating a tool that will enable celebrities to make their own chatbots for their fans. This is good news, as I could finally talk to Beyonce.
How do you do, fellow kids?
Meta is clearly putting a lot of time and effort into perfecting its chatbot game in the budding world of AI. We all remember Snapchat AI, which rose to fame for about a week and then quickly fizzled out into obscurity.
Interestingly, the Wall Street Journal reached out to former Snap and Instagram executive Meghana Dhar, who noted that chatbots don’t “scream Gen Z to me, but definitely, Gen Z is much more comfortable” with new technology. She also adds that Meta’s goal with the chatbots is likely to be to keep them engaged for longer so it has “increased opportunity to serve them ads.”
That would explain the rather random selection of ‘young people’ personas that Meta is going for. While Bender from Futurama is pretty recognizable, he’s not exactly a Gen Z icon. As someone from the demographic Meta seems to be targeting, it’s an extremely odd celebrity to slap onto your product, considering there’s a plethora of other (more relevant) personalities to choose from.
The advantage Meta has in picking Gen Z as its target demographic is that Gen Z is very public about who they are super into right now. Meta could have picked literally anyone else, so hopefully the other personalities it has up its sleeve are a bit more … contemporary.