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Friendship Redefined: Instagram's AI Companion

  • Meta's integration of generative AI into its products, including AI chatbots, signifies a significant shift in how technology redefines social interactions.
  • The emergence of AI companions, such as Instagram's customizable chatbot, raises questions about the authenticity and depth of virtual friendships.
  • Distinguishing between AI and human interactions is essential to protect consumers from potential risks.

What in today's world is a point of concern for everyone? Nowadays, it's difficult to have a real friend, and movies have portrayed the idea of having a virtual friend. It's a reality now. It's done by none other than our meta friend- Instagram. 

Instagram is working on an AI friend feature that allows users to customize and converse with it. Screenshots shared by app researcher Alessandro Paluzzi show that users can ask questions, seek advice, exchange thoughts, and more with the AI.

How Does Your AI Bot Friend?

You can customize your AI companion's personality and conversations by selecting their interests from various options, such as DIY, animals, careers, education, entertainment, music, nature, and more, as shown in the screenshots.

Creating an AI chatbot as a "friend" for millions of users on social networks comes with risks. According to Julia Stoyanovich, an Associate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at NYU and the Director of the University's Center for Responsible AI, generative AI can deceive users into thinking they are talking to a real person.

Stoyanovich emphasized distinguishing between AI and humans when engaging with AI. This level of transparency is essential to safeguard consumers from potential risks.

Meta, the parent company of Instagram, has begun incorporating generative AI into its products. Last month, Meta introduced 28 AI chatbots that users can message on WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram.

The AI personalities are designed for specific engagements, unlike the "AI friend" chatbot that can talk about various topics. Kendall Jenner's AI chatbot, Billie, acts as an older sister and provides life advice to younger users.

In a world where technology is changing how we interact, the concept of an AI friend is an interesting development in our social environment. It is important to balance the benefits of AI companionship and the need for transparency and responsible AI usage. The future of virtual connections is both captivating and ever-evolving.

Edited by Shruti Thapa