😺 Character.ai breaks internet

PLUS: Not the therapist GenZ really needs...

Welcome, humans.

Yesterday, we learned that NBC is cloning the voice of sports broadcaster Al Michaels to narrate daily recaps of The Olympics that are personalized for whoever is listening. If you only care about Swimming, you'll get the legendary broadcaster recapping just that event's results.

Pretty clever use of AI, if you ask us.

We'll be tapping Al for our favorite event, Race Walking, a long-distance foot race in which athletes must maintain eye contact with the ground at all times. We're still puzzled as to how they don't run into each other!

Here’s what you need to know about AI today:

  • Character AI is launching a feature to call its AI characters.

  • Chatting with AI bots has become wildly popular among young people.

  • OpenAI inked a deal to license news content from TIME for ChatGPT.

  • OpenAI announced research on finding GPT-4's mistakes using GPT-4.

Talking with chatbots isn't just a fad, it's a new social norm.

If you're north of 30, you might be out of the loop on this exploding trend: young people are obsessed with talking to AI chatbots.

So, there’s this chatbot platform worth $1B called Character.ai. Unlike ChatGPT, each of its bots has a unique personality—one mimics Elon Musk, another plays therapist, and our favorite creates alternative timelines.

And it’s become one of the most popular consumer apps in the world:

  • They're pulling 250M+ visits monthly, with ~20M monthly users, and running one of the wildest subreddits we've ever seen.

  • Kids on the platform spend an average of 2 HOURS a day chatting with its bots.

  • Users lose their minds when the platform goes down or when their favorite chatbots start acting differently from what they’re used to.

Kinda nuts, huh?!

Also a goldmine, BTW. Meta and Google have caught wind of this shift and are cooking up their own versions of Character.ai to cash in.

Google's just dipping its toes in, but Meta's AI Characters have been a thing since last year. Scroll through Facebook, and you'll bump into AI chatbots mimicking Paris Hilton, Mr. Beast, and Tom Brady, among others.

Meta's blog post claims: “Our goal is to bring the potential for deeper connections and extended conversational capabilities to your chats with AIs.”

Yeah, OK, Meta. As if deeper human bonds equal teens tapping away with a fake Snoop Dog on Instagram instead of talking with their friends in real life.

Anyway, we're getting sidetracked...

In related news, Character AI just announced that users can now chat with its bots via voice calls. They might've missed the memo that GenZ doesn’t do phone calls; they only text!


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Around the Horn.

  • OpenAI inked a deal with TIME to use its content for ChatGPT. TIME also partnered with ElevenLabs to introduce AI narration to its articles.

  • The Neuron is hiring a Lead Writer to help write this newsletter and shape the future of AI media—apply here!

  • Goldman Sachs is rolling out an AI coding assistant to developers across the company.

  • OpenAI released new research on an AI called CriticGPT that catches errors on ChatGPT-4’s code using ChatGPT-4.

Treats To Try.

  1. *Instant, accurate, low-cost GenAI evaluations! Fortune 500 companies use Galileo Luna to detect hallucinations, prevent data leakage, and stop prompt attacks. Try Luna today!

  2. Hebbia is an AI tool that can search and return answers from all of your internal documents (raised $100M).

  3. Clay helps marketing/sales teams automate mundane tasks like contact data enrichment to scale personalized outreach (raised $62M).

  4. Gemma 2 is a new model from Google that’s now the leading open-source model. Try it on Google AI Studio.

  5. MagicSchool is a suite of AI tools for teachers, educators, and schools (raised $15M).

*This is sponsored content. Advertise in The Neuron here.

Intelligent Insights.

  • Claude is starting to get really good at coding and autonomously fixing pull requests (link).

  • I am using AI to automatically drop hats outside my window onto New Yorkers (link).

  • No One Wants to Sound Clueless About AI. Especially Your Boss. (link).

  • Anthropic CEO Dario Amodei on Being an Underdog, AI Safety, and Economic Inequality (link).

A Cat's Commentary.

That’s all for today, for more AI treats, check out our website.

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See you cool cats on Twitter: @nonmayorpete & @noahedelman02

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