Character.AI says users spend an average of two hours a day on the site

Screenshot of web site.Photo: Screenshot by Quartz.Imagine chatting with Friedrich Nietzsche, Socrates, and René Descartes about the which means of life. Well, there’s an app for that.Kyra Sedgwick on creativityCharacter.AI, a startup that gives a chatbot service the place users can have open-ended conversations with totally different characters based mostly on actual and imagined personalities, launched final September. Characters embody an English instructor who will enable you to with grammar or a psychologist who can present assist. If users don’t click on with one of the 18 million characters accessible, they’ll create a new one.Founded by Noam Shazeer and Daniel De Freitas, two former workers at Google Brain—the AI lab inside the tech big—Character.AI is betting that folks need to have interaction with a selection of chatbots. The startup has raised $190 million in funding from traders like Andreessen Horowitz and Greycroft to this point.Notably, the firm says that as of August, users on the platform spend an average of two hours a day with its chatbots. Part of the clarification the firm provides is that individuals are interacting with totally different characters, which is extra participating than passively scrolling a site.Hoping to proceed to draw and retain extra users—a base that at present stands at 10 million month-to-month lively ones—the Palo Alto, Calif.-based firm rolled out a function this week the place individuals can have a group chat on Character.AI with as much as 5 AI characters and 5 people directly. Users can determine who’s human and who’s not by the group chat settings.The group chat function is out there to paid users. The subscription, which is $9.99 a month and permits users to skip any ready queues—wanted to handle conditions when there’s peak demand for the service to stop outages or sluggish efficiency—is what helps the firm scale its companies. Character.AI’s service is powered by massive language fashions, that are expensive to run. The firm says the function will grow to be accessible to everybody in the future.Character.AI’s newest function comes after Meta launched its personal model of greater than two dozen AI characters final month, impressed by actual individuals like Kendall Jenner and Naomi Osaka, throughout its merchandise. In response, Character.AI rapidly known as out the likeness on Twitter, highlighting how heated the race to construct AI bots has grow to be.

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