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Meta pays millions for celebs including Naomi Osaka, Kendall Jenner for AI chatbots: report

[Source]

Social media giant Meta reportedly paid millions of dollars to over two dozen celebrities, including Naomi Osaka, MrBeast and Dwayne Wade, in a non-exclusive deal to use their likeness for the company’s newly launched AI chatbot feature.

The context: Meta announced its new AI experiences in a press release on Sept. 27. The new features were rolled out across the company’s social media platforms, such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, as well as on its Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses and VR headset Quest 3.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained at a developer's conference in late September that the new AI chatbots could have human-like conversations with users in real time, with their responses tied to the personality of their characters.

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Key features: One of the key features announced was the introduction of 28 new social media AI profiles played by famous celebrities and personalities, such as Paris Hilton, Tom Brady, Snoop Dogg, Kendall Jenner and Naomi Osaka.

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Osaka’s character, Tamika (@sailortamika), is introduced as someone who likes to cosplay anime and is into fashion and lifestyle. Some of the other celebrities of Asian descent introduced include Max (played by American chef Roy Choi), a seasoned sous chef who can give culinary tips and tricks; Dylan (played by Canadian YouTuber Lauren Riihimaki), who is a quirky DIY and craft expert; and Lorena, (Padma Lakshmi), a globetrotting ex-accountant.

Paid a big amount: The social media giant purportedly paid these celebrities, content creators and athletes over $1 million to use their likeness for the AI chatbots, The Information reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The report noted that one of them, only referred to as “creators,” was paid $5 million over two years for six hours of work in a studio. The Information added that the deal was non-exclusive, which means that the people who took up the offer could also take similar offers for other AI-related products.

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Future releases: Meta also announced its plans for future AI chatbot releases in the coming weeks, which will include other celebrities, athletes and personalities, such as Bear Grylls and Chloe Kim. The company is also reportedly looking to add a voice feature for the bots aside from its current text-based responses.

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