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Meta bets on AI chatbots to spice up social media

Meta Platforms is preparing to launch a range of artificial intelligence (AI) powered chatbots that exhibit different personalities as soon as September, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday.

Meta has been designing prototypes for chatbots that can have humanlike discussions with its users, as the company attempts to boost its engagement with its social media platforms, according to the report, citing people with knowledge of the plans.

The Menlo Park, California-based social media giant is even exploring a chatbot that speaks like Abraham Lincoln and another that advises on travel options in the style of a surfer, the report added. The purpose of these chatbots will be to provide a new search function as well as offer recommendations.

The report comes as Meta executives are focusing on boosting retention on its new text-based app Threads, after the app lost more than half of its users in the weeks following its launch on July 5.

Meta declined to comment on the FT report, when contacted by Reuters.

The Facebook parent reported a strong rise in advertising revenue in its earnings last week, forecasting third-quarter revenue above market expectations.

The company has been climbing back from a bruising 2022, buoyed by hype around emerging AI technology and an austerity drive in which it has shed around 21,000 employees since last fall.

Meta launched a new version of its open-source artificial intelligence model in July called Llama 2 for commercial use, which will be distributed by Microsoft (MSFT.O) through its Azure cloud service and will run on the Windows operating system.

Bloomberg News reported in July that Apple is working on AI offerings similar to OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bard, adding that it has built its own framework, known as ‘Ajax’, to create large language models and is also testing a chatbot that some engineers call ‘Apple GPT’. Reuters

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