Is Meta Going too far with its AI Celebrity Bots?

With her striking resemblance to Kendall Jenner and a voice that mirrors the model's, the AI entity known as "Billie" has made her debut on Instagram. But who is she, really?


Ramzi Chamat / 8 Ways Media
2023-10-25 11:45:00

AI entity, "Billie" is part of a roster of AI-powered bots managed by Meta, each embodying the likeness of a well-known celebrity, such as Paris Hilton, Tom Brady, and Snoop Dogg.

Each bot has its own distinct personality, tailored to engage with users on specific topics.

For instance:

Tom Brady's character, "Bru," thrives in sports-related debates, catering to sports enthusiasts.

Snoop Dogg's character takes on the role of a dungeon master, appealing to Dungeons and Dragons fans.

Kendall Jenner's "Billie" is introduced as a virtual big sister, available for users seeking advice or conversation.

When this news first broke, confusion swirled as to whether the images and videos were authentic representations of the celebrities or generated by artificial intelligence.

In response to Jenner's Billie, Instagram users posted comments like:

"AI is becoming too advanced..."

"Is this legal? Did Kendall consent to this? Is she profiting from this?"

"I'm usually pretty good at spotting AI, but this doesn't look like AI to me. If it really is AI-generated...I'm amazed."

For the time being, the content featuring celebrity likenesses consists of real videos, with each celebrity embodying a human version of their bot.

However, the chat interactions and messages from these accounts are generated by AI.

Why is Meta adopting celebrity AI bots?

This strategy is essentially a means to keep younger audiences engaged on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, which tend to skew toward older users.

That being said, concerns loom regarding user privacy, such as how data shared with AI chatbots will be safeguarded and used, as well as the implications of celebrities lending their likeness to Meta.

According to tech publication, ‘The Information’, participating celebrities were remunerated up to $5 million for granting Meta the rights to use their likeness.

The extent to which Meta will utilise celebrity faces remains publicly unclear.

This initiative also arises at a critical juncture in the entertainment industry, where writers and actors have experienced strikes this year, with concerns about AI's impact playing a central role in negotiations.

While it's too early to predict the enduring consequences of Meta's AI bot experiment, a prevailing sentiment is that it is somewhat eerie and could serve as an unsettling harbinger of what lies ahead."

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