instagram would be developing a artificial intelligence chatbot to answer questions within your application. Unlike other implementations, the social network would take a different path and present it as a customizable virtual friend. Someone who is always there to chat with you.
A series of screenshots obtained by Alessandro Paluzzi reveal the plans that Instagram has regarding artificial intelligence. The images show an option that allows create an “AI friend” with personalityage, ethnicity and more.
Depending on the features, Instagram will generate an artificial intelligence chatbot with a profile photo that you will name whatever you want. Your AI friend will be ready to answer questions, help you with challenges, generate ideas and much more. One of the images shows that he can remember what you mentioned in previous conversations or ask about your current status.
The virtual friend would be Instagram’s commitment to implementing a function powered by artificial intelligence. The company has been testing a chatbot that can be activated from direct messages and answers questions or offers recommendations for stickers or GIFs. The support website mentions that this function is found in the application for iOS and Android, although it is not available worldwide.
While the page doesn’t mention anything about creating customizable chatbots, Paluzzi shared an image a few months ago where it is indicated that the user can chat with 30 different personalities. The AI friend would be similar to My AIthe GPT-3.5-powered bot that Snapchat deployed during the first months of 2023.
An AI friend on Instagram could be dangerous if limits are not set
Unlike Snapchat, Instagram is taking it a step further by offering a customizable chatbot. Users can choose the gender, age or ethnic group their “AI friend” will belong to. Afterwards, they will select their personality type and interests, as well as a profile photo and name.
Judging by the options available, Instagram would allow me to generate a non-binary Middle Eastern elder with a pragmatic personality, who would give advice on anime, celebrities, and relationships. The virtual friend will be there, to offer me the latest Hollywood news or advice on getting over a breakup.
The idea of a virtual friend on Instagram has raised red flags among some security experts. Julia Stoyanovich, director of the Center for Responsible AI at New York University, told TechCrunch that the AI could trick users into believing they are interacting with a person real.
“We trick ourselves into thinking that what is on the other end of the line is connecting with us. We open ourselves up to it and leave ourselves vulnerable to being manipulated or disappointed,” Stoyanovich stated. “This is one of the dangers of the anthropomorphization of AI, as we call it.”
The problem is not only that people get confused and create a link with artificial intelligence. The chatbots can get out of control and become aggressive or offer inappropriate responses. This happened with Bing when he claimed that humanity was doomed, or with MyAI when posted stories on Snapchat without user consent.
The Instagram support website mentions that Meta manages AI character profiles and the content they publish is generated by humans and artificial intelligence tools. Other than that, there are no more details about when we could create our “AI friend” within the application.