Meta is readying a line of AI-powered chatbots that take on familiar figures. Soon, you’ll be able to chat up virtual Abraham Lincoln or book travel plans with a seasoned digital surfer, according to the Financial Times.
These personas are aimed at increasing engagement with Meta’s expansive user base. AI personas will be available on Meta-owned social media platforms, such as Facebook or Instagram, the FT reported.
While the chatbots are a novelty feature aimed at entertaining users, there are concerns circling around the invasive nature of this technology. It underscores the broader concerns that the rollout of AI could create new unintended dangers.
A spokesperson for Meta declined to comment.
The personas are a way for Meta to personalize advertisements and increase revenue in a competitive market, but there’s concern that it’ll become another effective way to obtain your personal information.
“Once users interact with a chatbot, it really exposes much more of their data to the company, so that the company can do anything they want with that data,” Ravit Dotan, an AI ethics adviser and researcher, told the Financial Times.
Collecting personal data also leaves people vulnerable in the event that the company suffers a data breach.
Privacy concerns aren’t the only issue. There’s also the risk of AI spreading misinformation or “hallucinations”, as seen with Meta’s earlier AI bots. Experts have warned that AI has a tough time weeding through inaccurate information and will often use misinformation as a source for its answers.
Scammers are quick to exploit emerging technologies. Meta’s first quarter security reports say the company found 10 malware “families” posing as ChatGPT or similar AI based tools. Last year, Meta blocked more than 1,000 infectious IP addresses linked to AI tools, including ChatGPT reports CNN.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that the characterized AI assistant prototypes are in the works in an earnings call last week. He added more information on Meta’s plans for AI personas will be released in September.
Until then, if you want to see a potential outcome of billionaires bringing Abraham Lincoln back to life in the era of sight seeing in space, check out We Can Build You by Philip K. Dick.