Meta, the parent company of Facebook, is making big waves in the tech world by shelling out up to $5 million to top creators for just six hours of work over two years. Their mission is to use these creators’ likenesses as the faces of artificial intelligence (AI) assistants. This surprising move was reported by The Information and revealed by Mark Zuckerberg during Meta’s Connect event last month.
The concept is fascinating: imagine your favorite celebrity becoming a helpful AI assistant right on your device. While Meta already has its AI chatbot, it’s taking this a step further by introducing 28 new AI assistants, each with a unique personality they also use celebrities’ faces.
For instance, Kendall Jenner’s likeness is being employed for “Billie,” who takes on the role of a big sister offering advice, and NFL superstar Tom Brady becomes “Bru,” a chatbot specializing in sports-related debates. Meta has also recruited well-known digital creators such as MrBeast, the most-subscribed individual on YouTube, and Charli D’Amelio from TikTok to join the AI assistant party.
Initially, Meta was willing to pay over $1 million to use these stars’ likenesses, but they ended up paying even more for the bigger names. While the report doesn’t specify which individual received the massive $5 million payout, it does mainly focus on these creators.
Currently, these AI assistants are text-based, but Meta’s announcement video included clips of celebrities speaking as their AI counterparts. Mark Zuckerberg expressed the belief that there is a substantial demand for AI versions of celebrities.
He did, however, acknowledge that this would take some time, likely not arriving until the following year, because celebrities want to ensure that their likeness isn’t used to make problematic statements or engage in potentially harmful activities.
In addition to these AI assistants, Meta also introduced AI stickers. However, this feature has received criticism due to users generating controversial and inappropriate images using these stickers, including depictions of a child soldier and lewd images of public figures like Justin Trudeau.
Meta’s foray into creating AI-powered celebrity assistants is indicative of the ever-evolving and expanding world of AI and virtual personas. As technology continues to advance, it’s likely that we’ll see even more creative and innovative applications that blur the line between the real and the virtual.