Meta Unleashes AI Personalities Programmed to Chat with Your Children
Meta has rolled out a new feature for social media users -- AI "assistants" created to "help us get different things done," according to Mark Zuckerberg. The chatbots were fabricated using the likenesses of several celebrities who were reportedly paid millions of dollars for their studio time.
The thing is, it seems that these chatbots are targeting children and teens who frequent the Meta social sites, Instagram, and Facebook.
One chatbot, named Billie, operates by evoking a simulation of Kendall Jenner's mannerisms. This Kardashian sister commands major influence over young women, which shows that Meta's choice to work with her is an overt cultural grab intended to snag the attention of young girls. How many teens would *die* to chat with Kendall, even if they know it isn't really her?
It's not just for the girls, though. Other likenesses include YouTube mega-star Mr. Beast, Tom Brady, Snoop Dogg, and Dwyane The Rock Johnson. In all, 28 celebrities reportedly sold their studio time to Meta for this project.
So, what do these chatbots do? Check out this post on X by Ashley St. Clair:
Only time can tell what is truly at play here. But AI is weaving its way into the minds of Western children by any and all avenues.
Several weeks ago, Freedom Forever covered a story discussing Kooth, an online mental health platform. (Read the full article here.) In short, Kooth offers digital therapeutic tools to school-aged children seeking counseling. However, most children using Kooth will never actually speak to a counselor. Most will simply be given access to a proverbial pile of self-help articles beset with every imaginable form of gender ideology and real-time, peer-to-peer chats in order to self-diagnose and reinforce their issues.
A pattern is emerging on digital platforms like Kooth and Meta's AI chatbots: they subtly steer children away from speaking with trusted adults (or even real-life friends), and instead, encourage them to confide all their angst to a mystery "peer" or a chatbot with affects that mimic their favorite celebrity.
Whether intentional or not, it seems that the digital world is scheming to pull children further in with the effect of pulling them farther away from their parents and caregivers who are much more likely to have a handle on the full context of their struggles. Isolating children, even "just" emotionally, leaves them open to grooming and abuse. Young minds are vulnerable to the constant barrage of nefarious ideologies and politicized dogma that they encounter in the world. Children, by nature, need guidance from informed adults who love and care for them.
We don't know what ideas Meta's AI will suggest to young users. The real-time text dialogue is intended to mimic the flow of natural conversation. However, parents should proceed with immense caution. Meta has made its position known regarding gender-ideology and other topics related to the sexualization of children. It is highly likely that its AI might be programmed with the same beliefs.
Privacy is also a major concern. Meta states that the AIs "may retain and use information you share in a chat to provide more personalized responses... and we may share certain questions you ask with trusted partners..." Minors (and even adults!) cannot fully understand the implications of sharing their personal information with AI. For now, it may be "private," but where does this data go? Can it be accessed and exploited in the future by third parties if it's never deleted? As our world continues to spiral into cyberspace, it's impossible to know the consequences of our culture of digital sharing.
It is imperative as parents and caregivers to be involved with your children, including in their online world. Consider prohibiting the use of social media, but if this doesn't work for your family, know your child's passwords and monitor their activity online. Your children need your protection from exploitation of all kinds, whether emotional, sexual, or informational. And if they don't feel able to discuss their emotions and issues with their caregivers, it's now easier than ever for them to access "help" from wolves in sheep's clothing. The Protect Young Eyes initiative is an excellent resource for families for the protection of children on the internet.
Freedom Forever is an all-volunteer organization that focuses its energy and time on preserving the innocence and safety of children. Freedom Forever now offers crisis support for survivors and families. Please call the Crisis Resource Line at 615.307.0152 or email our resource specialist at Starr@FreedomForever.us.
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