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Ready for a Chatbot version of your favorite Instagram influencers?| GuyWhoKnowsThings

Being an influencer can be a lot of work. Instagram believes that AI can be of great help.

Instagram is offering popular influencers a program that relies on artificial intelligence to interact with fans, the latest example of how Meta, Instagram's parent company, is trying to expand the technology across its products.

The program, which is in its early stages of testing and known as “Creator AI,” would allow influencers to chat with fans through direct messages on the social network and potentially through Instagram comments in the future, according to five people informed about the company. plans. The program will essentially be a chatbot that imitates the Instagram influencer's “voice” to respond to fans, the people said.

Most of the messages would be sent automatically and would at least initially reveal that they were generated by AI, according to two of the people.

The goal, according to the people, is to give creators with large followings the ability to better connect with fans while reducing the amount of work required to personally respond to a large number of messages and comments. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because they were asked to sign confidentiality agreements as part of the program.

Eva Chen, Instagram's director of fashion partnerships, recently spoke to creators about the effort, and the platform has also been briefing agencies about it, according to three of the people involved in the conversations. It is unclear whether the program will be widely disseminated.

Creators can select the data that Meta uses to copy your speech, including your previous Instagram posts, direct messages, comments, and audio from Reels and Instagram Stories, two of the people said. Influencers can also dictate specific answers to certain questions, one person said.

A Meta spokesman declined to comment.

Meta has aggressively pushed to incorporate artificial intelligence into every corner of the company's business, from improving its advertising systems to building AI assistants in smart glasses and other hardware projects. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, has said He believes that artificial intelligence will become an “increasingly important driver of opportunity” for people, businesses and the economy as a whole.

Zuckerberg has also envisioned a world where people will have omnipresent AI assistants to help them perform daily tasks and other forms of work. Meta has spent billions of dollars redesigning the company's systems to improve technology development, competing with companies such as Google, Microsoft and OpenAI.

And Meta has been spending millions of dollars to influential people at court to their social networks, including Instagram and Facebook, after years of not doing so. Mr. Zuckerberg has said wants to “build the best platform for millions of creators to earn a living.”

Some influencers recently received invitations to a May event in New York, where Meta said it planned to demonstrate some of the company's new and experimental artificial intelligence products, according to two of the people familiar with Meta's plans.

Creator AI program expands Meta's previous efforts to incorporate a cast of AI avatars built using images of celebrities like Kendall Jenner and Mr. Beast. On that show, Meta created entirely new characters called “Billie” or “Zach” on Instagram and Facebook, who were represented with the faces of participating celebrities, who could interact with fans.

Some creators have been hesitant about the notion of automating their interactions with their followers, saying it could put words they don't agree with in their mouths. Others have objected to the idea that a chatbot can replicate the essence of the interactions they have with fans. Many influencers have found success engaging with people who crave more authentic and direct connections with the online personalities they follow.

Still, there is some precedent for the program. Several creators already rely on external agencies and tools used to respond to messages they receive on their Instagram and Facebook accounts. One of those companies, School of Bots, sells a AI chatbot program to influencers who want to automate direct message discussions with their followers.

It still doesn't look like Meta's first batch of AI-powered avatars have been a huge success. While Billie, the Jenner-inspired character, has 193,000 followers on Instagram, the comments on a recent video from the account were largely perplexed. “This is so stupid,” said one commenter, garnering more than 12,700 likes. “I wonder how Kyndall feels about this robot impersonating her,” said another, misspelling the star's name.

And another: “Why do you want to text a robot?”

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