Meta’s latest AI project clearly driven by ‘thirst’ for profit, experts say
The Meta he sees them as “fun” Artificial Intelligence… Many, however, believe that this latest technological development could mark the first step towards the creation of “the most dangerous artifacts in human history”, to quote from his essay American philosopher Daniel C. Dennett on “fake people”.
Last Wednesday, the “giant” of social networking announced the launch of 28 chatbots, which are supposed to have their own personality and are designed specifically for younger users. These include Victor and Sally, the “free-spirited friend who will tell you when to take a deep breath.”
Cyberspace users can also chat with Max, an “experienced assistant chef”, who will give you “cooking tips”, or engage in a “verbal duel” with Luiz, who “can support the his words”.
A chatbot that looks like Paris Hilton
To reinforce the idea that these chatbots have personality and aren’t just algorithms, Meta gave each of them a face. Thanks to celebrity collaborations, these bots look like American jet-setter and DJ Paris Hilton, TikTok star Charli D’Amelio, and American-Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka.
And that’s not all. Meta made sure to even open Facebook and Instagram accounts for these chatbots. The parent company of Mark Zuckerberg’s empire was also looking for screenwriters who can “write characters, and other supporting narrative content that appeals to a broad audience.”
“Meta may present these 28 chatbots as an innocent venture in its attempt to attract young users, but all these moves reveal an ambitious plan – with the help of Artificial Intelligence – to replace human existence“, writes “The Rolling Stone”.
This race to “impersonate humans” worries many observers, who are already worried by recent advances in research on large language models (LLMs), such as ChatGPT and Llama 2, Facebook’s equivalent. Without getting to the point of Dennett calling for the likes of Zuckerberg to be jailed, there are plenty of thinkers who decry the deliberately misleading approach of these large groups. According to experts, algorithms are incapable of exhibiting intention in their actions or free will, two characteristics that are considered closely related to the idea of personhood.
The tech giant can only, at best, experts say, mimic certain traits that make up a personality. It is technologically possible, for example, to teach a chatbot to act like the person it represents. For example, Meta’s AI Amber, who is supposed to resemble Hilton, may be able to speak in the same way as her human alter ego. The next step will be to train these LLMs to express the same opinions as the person they look like!
To build these chatbots, Meta explains that it tried to give them “unique personal stories”. In other words, the creators of these “fake people” wrote biographies about them in the hope that they would be able to develop a personality based on what they read about themselves. “It’s an interesting approach, but it would be beneficial to add psychologists to these groups to better understand personality traits.” said Anna Strasser, a German philosopher involved in a project to create a large language model.
Meta’s latest AI project is clearly driven by the “thirst” for profit. “People will no doubt be willing to pay to be able to talk to and relate directly to Paris Hilton or some other celebrity“, she added.
The more users feel like they’re talking to a human, the more comfortable they’ll feel, the longer they’ll stay and the more likely they’ll return, experts say. And in the world of social media, time – spent on Facebook and its ads – is money.
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