Google and Meta see potential in chatbots and AI assistance. Meta is reportedly planning multiple chatbots at once, while Google is preparing an LLM upgrade for Assistant.
According to the Financial Times, Meta is preparing a series of chatbots with different personalities to encourage interaction on its social media platforms through human-like conversations. The FT cites three people familiar with the project.
Internally, the bots are called "personas." For example, one chatbot will talk like Abraham Lincoln, while a surfer persona will offer travel tips. The bots are expected to go live in September.
The bots are designed to serve as a search engine and entertainment for users. Meta reportedly hopes to gain additional data that will help with personalized ad targeting. Users may reveal more personal information in dialogue with a chatbot than they would in the social stream or in private messages with other users.
Meta is likely using its Llama 2 chat model, which it released in a somewhat controversial open-source variant at the end of July. Long before the release of ChatGPT, Meta was a leader in chatbot development with releases such as Blenderbot. However, these projects were not turned into products and did not receive the same attention as ChatGPT.
The rumors fit with previous reports that Meta is working on multiple chatbots for its social platforms, including WhatsApp. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has also said that he expects people to use different chatbots for different purposes in the future.
Google plans LLM upgrade for Assistant
Google is planning an AI upgrade for its Android Assistant. That's according to an internal email published by Axios.
Specifically, Google wants to turn Assistant into an LLM-based product, similar to the web chatbot Bard. Google VP Peeyush Ranjan and product manager Duke Dukellis talk about a "supercharged Assistant" in this context.
The update is expected to change the way the chatbot works, so Google will continue to support the current functionality for now. Google plans to update the smartphone assistant first.
The restructuring of the department eliminates several dozen positions in the Assistant teams. Several thousand employees are still working on Google Assistant, which has a "bright future," according to the internal email about the restructuring.
Apple is said to be working on Apple GPT, its own language model with chat functionality, which is already being tested internally and for which Apple is still looking for a suitable product.