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Meta unveils ‘creepy’ AI chatbot that looks exactly like Kendall Jenner

‘This is frightening’

Meredith Clark
New York
Thursday 12 October 2023 17:31 BST
Related: Kendall Jenner showcases ‘really nice’ cutting skills after cucumber debacle

Meta has introduced a new artificial intelligence chatbot on Instagram who bears a strikingly similar resemblance to Kendall Jenner. Although, it’s not Kendall Jenner… sort of.

Meet Billie, an AI chatbot created using the 27-year-old supermodel’s likeness. In fact, the bot seems like a carbon copy of Jenner, from her model features and mannerisms to her Kardashian-esque tone of voice. As it turns out, Jenner is reportedly among fellow big-name celebrities who gave Meta permission to create AI assistants based on their likeness for a price.

“Hey guys, it’s Billie,” the chatbot tells the camera. “I just want to introduce myself. I am here to chat whenever you want. Message me for any advice. I am ready to talk and I hope to talk to you soon.”

Billie - who comes with the disclaimer in her Instagram bio that she’s “AI managed by Meta” - has already amassed 107k followers on the social media app, which is owned by Meta and where she is verified. “Chatting with me is like having an older sister you can talk to, but who can’t steal your clothes,” they captioned the post.

Unsurprisingly, the AI chatbot caused quite some confusion as fans mistook the video for real-life Jenner posing as someone named Billie. But once they realised that the clip was simply an AI-version of the Keeping Up with the Kardashians star, their responses changed from confused to downright creeped out.

“I’m so confused,” commented one Instagram user.

“That is so creepy… I hope it’s actually Kendall just saying she’s Billie and not an AI generated video because that’s freaky as hell,” wrote someone else.

“This is frightening,” another said.

One person commented: “This is 40 years too soon.” Another said: “Okay this is weird.”

On 27 September, Meta announced the roll-out of its AI chat assistant available on WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram. The company, co-founded by Mark Zuckerberg, also launched 28 AI characters with unique interests and personalities, using the likeness of celebrities and influencers like Snoop Dogg, Tom Brady, Paris Hilton, and Naomi Osaka. Meta has also enlisted content creators like MrBeast, who is the most-subscribed individual on YouTube, and TikTok star Charli D’Amelio.

Jenner’s character of Billie is meant to be portrayed as a big sister to give users advice, while Brady is Bru, a “wisecracking sports debater who pulls no punches”. Meanwhile, Snoop Dogg’s AI chatbot is a “dungeon master” who takes part in adventures.

According to a report from The Information published on 5 October, Meta was initially willing to pay $1m to use the celebrities’ likeness as an AI assistant. However, the compnay reportedly shelved out $5m to one unnamed creator for as little as six hours of work in a studio.

This isn’t the first time a celebrity’s likeness has been used to create an AI version of themselves. Earlier this month, actor Tom Hanks called out an AI version of himself that was used without his permission to promote a new dental plan. The Forrest Gump star, 61, issued a warning that he had “nothing to do” with the ad when he shared a photo of the AI version of himself on Instagram.

“BEWARE!! There’s a video out there promoting some dental plan with an AI version of me. I have nothing to do with it,” he captioned the post.

Robin Williams’s daughter Zelda has also criticised the use of AI to recreate the sound of her late father’s voice.

The Independent has contacted Meta for comment.

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