Meta Introduces User-Created AI Chatbot

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on Thursday that the company will begin featuring AI characters created by users through Meta AI Studio on Instagram, with tests set to start in the United States.

The social media company’s announcement coincides with the rollout of voice call functionality for AI avatars by Character.AI, a chatbot company backed by a16z.

In a post on his broadcast channel, Zuckerberg pointed out that these chatbots will be clearly identified as AI, so users are aware.

He said, “Rolling out an early test in the U.S. of our AI studio so you might start seeing AIs from your favorite creators and interest-based AIs in the coming weeks on Instagram. These will primarily show up in messaging for now, and will be clearly labeled as AI,”

He also added, “It’s early days and the first beta version of these AIs, so we’ll keep working on improving them and make them available to more people soon,”

Zuckerberg revealed that Meta collaborated with creators such as the popular meme account Wasted and technology innovator Don Allen Stevenson III to launch initial versions of creator-made chatbots.

In a video interview posted to his social media platforms, Zuckerberg elaborated on the potential applications of AI avatars, stating, “There needs to be a lot of different APIs that get created to reflect people’s different interests. So a big part of the approach is going to be enabling every creator, and then eventually also every small business on the platform, to create an AI for themselves to help them interact with their community, and their customers if they’re a business,”

Content creators may leverage AI to interact with their audience, as they often lack the time to personally respond to the vast number of incoming messages.

Zuckerberg acknowledged that the effectiveness of AI avatars will develop into a refined and dynamic “art form” that will continually enhance and evolve over time.

“I don’t think we know going into this, what is going to be the most engaging and entertaining and trust-building formula for this, so we want to give people tools so that you can experiment with this and see what ends up working well,” said Zuckerberg.

Meta will commence testing the feature with a select group of approximately 50 creators and a limited user base, with plans to gradually expand availability to a broader audience over the next few months, aiming for a full launch by August.

Meta initially introduced its AI studio at last year’s developer conference, enabling businesses to develop tailored chatbots.