Google is currently in conversation to invest in Character.AI, an artificial intelligence chatbot platform startup. According to CTech News, Character.AI was created by Noam Shazeer and Daniel De Freitas, two former employees of Google Brain.
Google is prepared to invest “hundreds of millions of dollars” into Character.AI as it continues to train chatbot models to talk to users, according to sources who spoke to Reuters.
Character.AI and Google already have a standing relationship in which they use Google’s cloud services and Tensor Processing Units to train its chatbot models, so this investment would deepen that partnership.
Character.AI allows users to log in and choose from a variety of celebrities, movie characters, creatures, etc. to chat with. Users can even create their own character chatbot to speak with. Subscription models cost $9.99 a month, but the platform is also free to use.
According to data from Similarweb, reported by CalTech, “Character.AI’s chatbots, with various roles and tones to choose from, have appealed to users ages 18 to 24, who contributed about 60% of its website traffic.
The demographic is helping the company position itself as the purveyor of more fun personal AI companions, compared to other AI chatbots from OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bard.”
Within the first six months of launching, Character.AI saw about 100 million visits every month.
Reuters wrote that “The startup is also in talks to raise equity funding from venture capital investors, which could value the company at over $5 billion.
In March, it raised $150 million in a funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz at $1 billion valuation.
Google has been investing in AI startups, including $2 billion for model maker Anthropic in the form of convertible notes, on top of its earlier equity investment.”
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at email@example.com.