The $1 Billion AI That Wants to Know You Personally
Character.AI raises $150 million to take AI chatbots to the next level
Character AI, an AI chatbot startup founded by former Google researchers, raised $150 million in a new funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz. The two-year-old business was worth $1 billion after the investment.
The funding will help Character AI grow its 22-person team and improve its self-supervised learning models. The funding injection will allow Character AI to provide "more advanced reasoning and greater accuracy" by expanding its computing capabilities.
The startup, which lets users develop artificial intelligent companions with distinct personalities, is nearing 100 million site visits per month, a fourfold increase in only two months. The hyper-growth startup achieved 100 million monthly users only in six months, a rate comparable to ChatGPT's record-breaking achievement of 100 million monthly active users in just two months.
A new model from Menlo Park, California-based Character AI builds on its current applications in entertainment, roleplaying, and emotional support by adding productivity tools like email drafting and test preparation support. With the current version of the platform, you can communicate with personas of famous people like Albert Einstein, Super Mario, and Elon Musk. "We started the company to put this technology in the hands of everyone on Earth—one billion people can create one billion use cases," stated Noam Shazeer, Character.AI's CEO.
Character.AI does not yet make money, but the company intends to keep the free version available while also introducing a paid subscription "in the not-too-distant future." Ad-supported models are still a possibility. The Andreessen Horowitz partner Sarah Wang stated in a press release that "Character AI is rapidly and dramatically advancing generative AI, with the potential to transform how humans connect not just with AI, but more broadly reinvent how we interact with technology as a whole in our everyday lives."
Character AI will be able to develop more complex AI collaborators that significantly expand human capabilities and enhance our interactions with intelligent software with more funding and engineering talent. Character AI is leading the way in the field of AI personhood. AI characters are already here. We'll have to wait and see how it affects how people interact with computers.