Meta's announced a new fleet of AI chatbots at a Connect developer conference in California yesterday, ones with "some more personality"—and the selection of faces they've used sure is something.
In the presentation, Facebook founder and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg talks about Meta's development of AIs that are "a bit more fun", gesturing to a screen with several generic faux-personalities such as Izzy, an "aspiring singer-songwriter." I feel like there's a Frankenstein-style science fiction story in which Izzy suddenly realises she's artificial, her aspirations mere lines of code, but I'm thinking too hard about this.
"This isn't just gonna be about answering queries—this is about entertainment… we did something a little different for us, we partnered with a bunch of pretty awesome people to basically embody these and play them," Zuckerberg explains, before summoning exercise coach "Victor" played by Dwayne Wade, a former pro basketball player.
So far, so standard, I thought—then, whiplash. Zuckerberg starts talking about roleplaying games: "Now you can just drop the Dungeon Master into one of your chats," he says, before Snoop Dogg, bedazzled in a red collared cape that is admittedly magnificent, announces: "Let's get medieval, players."
Unfortunately, Snoop Dogg seems to be mostly reduced to an elaborate, animated gif in the corner while his chatbot does most of the talking. Zuckerberg plays for a couple of minutes—and I'm not sure this is a working replacement for a good DM. Gif Dogg certainly isn't a replacement for the real thing, either.
Other celebs in Meta's new chatbot army include:
- Pro tennis player Naomi Osaka as Tamika the "Manger Master", who is "proving it's cool to geek out"—thanks, glad to know Meta approves of my hobbies.
- Paris Hilton as "The Detective". I don't really have additional context for this. She seems a touch too peppy to wield the noir, broken-by-the-city energy I'd want out of a PD, but she is a "forensic specialist".
- Mr Beast as Zach "the Funny Man". Assuming these titles are all professions, this means Zach's canonical job is "Funny".
Earlier in the talk, Zuckerberg mentioned that "you can invoke Meta AI in any chat," including these celebrity bots. One example he gives is to settle a debate—and I personally can't wait to hear about the first real-world breakup as a result of someone dragging Mr Beast's poor digitised soul into a serious argument.
While I'm not exactly thrilled by the tech demos (what's the point of a Snoop Dogg DM bot if he's not doing the narration himself?) I am tempted by the power of cursing my various group chats with deep-learning-powered gifs of famous celebrities. Such technology was never meant for mortal hands.