Google Reportedly Developing Character Chatbots, Potential Integration with YouTube

Google’s Labs team is currently working on chatbots imbued with personalities that can emulate existing characters or people. According to The Information, Google Labs is in the process of developing a product that allows users to create and interact with customizable chatbots. These chatbots could be modeled after celebrities or crafted by users themselves. Powered by Gemini models, these chatbots enable users to specify both the personality and appearance of their creations.

There are discussions about partnering with influencers to create chatbots based on their personas. The project is slated for a potential standalone launch this year, aligning well with Google Labs’ focus on conversational applications and large-language models. Notably, Google previously showcased chatbots like Pluto and airplane bots to demonstrate LaMDA at I/O 2021.

Looking ahead, Google has also discussed the possibility of integrating these chatbots into YouTube. This integration could provide a similar experience to what Meta/Instagram already offers, although initial user interest appears cautious.

From a practical standpoint, Google would need to ensure a seamless mobile experience for users to engage easily with these chatbots. Given its experimental nature, a Progressive Web App (PWA) seems the most likely platform, rather than direct integration with Google Messages or Chat at launch.

This initiative differs from Gems, which are customized versions of Gemini tailored for specific functionalities. Introduced at I/O 2024 in May and set for release in the near future, Gems include offerings like a yoga coach, math tutor, and “recipe guru.” While pre-made Gems like the “Learning Coach” will be available to all users, Gemini Advanced subscribers will have the option to create custom Gems to suit their individual needs.

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