Kendall Jenner’s AI Chatbot Has Arrived, and It Is Scary-Realistic
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As Selena Gomez once said, everything is not what it seems. On Oct. 5, Meta unveiled Billie, an AI chatbot created using Kendall Jenner‘s likeness. Outwardly, the bot resembles the model to a T, down to her mannerisms, tone of voice, and blinking patterns. “Chatting with me is like having an older sister you can talk to, but who can’t steal your clothes,” Billie captioned its debut Instagram post. The chatbot is the first in a line of 28 new AI assistants modeled after celebrities, and as one Instagram commenter succinctly put it, “that’s freaky as hell.”
To be fair, artificial intelligence has proven useful in gathering information and analyzing data at a faster pace in myriad industries around the world, including healthcare, cybersecurity, financial services, insurance, the beauty industry, and business enterprises. Still, this most recent development could give “Black Mirror,” “Severance,” and even “The Matrix” a run for their money. Given that the Billie bot is almost entirely indistinguishable from Jenner, we can’t help but consider the effects of the hyper-realistic AI on our tech-centric reality.
“This is honestly scary.”
On Billie’s verified Instagram account, which has already accumulated 98,000 followers, the bot wastes no time encouraging viewers to message it for questions. “I am ready to talk and I hope to talk to you soon,” the chatbot tells the camera before blowing a kiss. “This is honestly scary,” one Instagram user wrote, echoing the sentiments of several more commenters who were quick to call out their confusion over the sci-fi-esque AI advancement. In fact, many followers were in such disbelief that they argued the video was simply Jenner filming a Cameo as a prank. In a press release, however, Meta confirmed some people’s worst fears.
In addition to Billie, Meta will release 27 celebrity AIs modeled after Snoop Dogg (Dungeon Master), Paris Hilton (Amber), Tom Brady (Bru), Naomi Osaka (Tamika), Mr. Beast (Zach), Charli D’Amelio, Dwyane Wade, Bear Grylls, Chloe Kim, and more. According to some reports, each celebrity received between $1 million and $5 million to share their likeness.
Each AI will specialize in answering questions in specific categories. Jenner’s Billie will be the “big sis”; Osaka’s Tamika will be “an anime-obsessed cosplay expert”; and Brady’s Bru will step in as “a wisecracking sports debater.” The advanced conversational assistants will be available to interact with on WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram, which means scrolling through our phones just became a lot more confusing.
Will the chatbots be able to change outfits? Swap locations? Collaborate with one another? Will their real-life counterparts interact with their AI selves? Will giving these chatbots human features make them feel like their own separate beings? Several questions are still up in the air as we process the reality of our future with technology.
AI is meant to perform human-like tasks, answer questions, and help reduce human error. With celebrities selling their faces and voices, though, we risk unnecessary levels of confusion and the spread of misinformation. Imagine scrolling through your feed and seeing a clip of Jenner awkwardly slicing a cucumber followed by a video of Billie making a five-course meal. What is the truth? While this example is fairly tame, there’s no telling what these celebrity-adjacent AIs can do or say that might affect their real-life counterparts and their respective fandoms.
In a world where parasocial relationships are normalized and scrolling through social media feels like second nature, new AI developments like this will surely force us to stay on our toes. We may not be ready for all that’s to come, but we’ll be doing our best to fact check every step of the way.