Meta plans to release AI chatbots with personalities, which staff call “personas”, like Abraham Lincoln, as soon as September 2023

Facebook owner Meta is preparing to launch a range of artificial intelligence-powered chatbots that exhibit different personalities as soon as next month, in an attempt to boost engagement with its social media platforms.

The tech giant led by chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has been designing prototypes for chatbots that can have humanlike discussions with its nearly 4bn users, according to three people with knowledge of the plans.

These people said some of the chatbots, which staffers have dubbed “personas”, take the form of different characters. The company has explored launching one that emulates Abraham Lincoln and another that advises on travel options in the style of a surfer, according to a person with knowledge of the plans.