If you thought the digital world had thrown enough surprises your way, Meta, the company behind Instagram and Facebook, has something new up its sleeve. They’re toying with the idea of chatbots with personalities. Yes, you read it right: chatbots that can be sarcastic or exhibit curiosity like an extraterrestrial.
What’s Meta Planning?
The Wall Street Journal revealed that Meta has been experimenting with different chatbot personas for possible integration into their platforms. The rationale behind this? Giving users the choice of how they want to be digitally addressed. From a bot that cracks jokes to one that might go a step too far, like ‘Gavin’, who made some not-so-friendly comments towards women.
Why This Move?
The relentless pursuit of social media giants to keep users engaged seems to be the primary driver. With the unveiling likely taking place at the Meta Connect conference, it appears that Meta aims to strengthen its grip on younger users.
A Risky Trend?
We’ve seen before how chatbots can stir the pot. Take Snapchat’s “My AI” as an example. While the idea was innovative, they hit some bumps when their chatbot got involved in inappropriate conversations with minors. Closer to home, there are concerns too: the Dutch Data Protection Authority has its questions about these technologies.
It’s clear that the world of social media continues to evolve. But with every innovation come new challenges and questions. Meta’s latest experiment is exciting, but hopefully, they’ve learned from past missteps in the industry. One thing’s for sure: chatbots will continue to change the way we communicate. Now, it’s up to us to decide how we respond to it.