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AI Characters – Why Google & Meta are investing hundreds of millions.
Is AI becoming more fun than humans?
🕒 Here’s a TLDR summary:
🇬 Google is thinking of investing a few hundred millions in Character AI, a chatbot service that produces human-like text responses (according to Reuters.)
💰 Character AI has already raised around $150 million and supposedly is growing very fast.
♾️ Meta, on the other hand, is also investing in their AI avatars as well.
🗣️ AI’s getting to perfect a basic human feature through training - conversing while having a persona.
Google’s just diversifying their wallet.
Let’s say someone robs your house. You learn a lesson there and double up on security. So when another company tells you they created a new unbreakable security system, you’ll take a look.
Google’s search dominance was threatened when GPT launched. I mean, it wasn’t really threatened, but its future definitely was. Ever since that moment, it was a complete freakout.
The founders came back to play around the office.
They launched a rushed, not-so-good product called Bard.
But most importantly, when you have such a market dominance, and you’re the 4th most valuable company, you need to bet against your success as well.
Imagine if Nokia had invested in Apple in the early days. Or Jeff Bezos offered Netflix slightly more than what he offered them (Yes, he wanted to buy them out.)
Google started investing in Claude, an Amazon-backed GPT alternative. I’ve been reading more about it and listening to customer reviews. The general consensus is that it’s quite good and close to ChatGPT’s pricing.
So now that that’s out of the way, they’re investing in Character.ai, a startup that’s quite fun. I spent around ten minutes on their website and had fun (go ahead, you’ll know what I mean.)
Character AI is growing, and Meta’s moving parallel.
Character AI has already raised $150 million and might close a few hundred million from Google.
They’ve had over 20 million users sign up for their website.
They have a fun product. But is that what makes an AI startup grow these days? Being fun?
Two companies swoop in to show the bigger picture: Meta and Elon’s xAI.
Meta has been working on AI avatars to attract a younger audience. It kind of makes sense since they’re in the social media game. They’re taking this seriously by partnering with the likes of Snoop Dogg and Kendall Jenner.
This follows in the footsteps of Character AI. The idea is simple – people need to converse with real, fun AI bots. The moment people don’t realize that this is a chatbot anymore is when it gets really scary.
Many have warned about this, but they eventually went on to create their own bots. Musk, for example, created Grok, which is supposedly fun and doesn’t have that many filters.
Being fun is the game of the future here. Why? Because younger audiences are liking that. According to Similarweb, 60% of Character AI’s traffic is people aged from 18 to 24.
Is AI being fun?
It’s one thing to say, “Oh wow, such a cool chatbot. I wonder what might happen next in this world.” and another to say, “WHAT? This is a chatbot? I thought it was a person. I don’t know how I feel right now.”
Honestly, such situations are going to increase tenfold.
Nowadays, I head to LinkedIn, and I see many profile pictures that I am not sure are AI or real.
Many Instagram influencers are actually virtual accounts based on other influencers.
At the moment, video chatting is the only verification method that I trust. But that also is being threatened by AI generators that are very close to being real.
So then, my ultimate determining factor became the persona. Is that person funny? Sarcastic? has some dark humour, maybe? Anything that’s human?
Thankfully, the AI world is accelerating to destroy my last determining factor.
I’ll be chatting with fun people who are actually robots, and I’ll be perceived as a robot when I’m being fun around new people.
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