One-on-one conversation with celebrities, icons, and personalities is possible through a website. There is one catch. The only problem is that the conversations take place with a machine and not with a person.
Character.ai was created last September by Noam Shazeer, a former Google engineer, and Daniel De Freitas. It is an artificial intelligence website. According to Google trends, the website has seen a steady rise in popularity, but a surge this year. The website’s popularity has increased on Twitter in recent days. Users have admitted to spending hours on character.ai and almost forgetting that it’s not real because of the seamlessness of the AI.
The site is free and offers users the opportunity to chat with a wide range of fictional characters. These include former President Donald Trump and Joel Miller, the fictional character in the HBO series and videogame “The Last of Us.” You can also practice writing a story or interviewing. You can also use the “help me make decisions” option.
The tool is a hit with fan fiction fans. The website was temporarily down this week for maintenance. Many expressed their disappointment on Twitter by saying that they had missed the platform. Some joked that they were in the middle important conversations.
Experts in ” Stan” culture say such enthusiasm is not surprising. The innovation offers a new way for fans and to interact with fandom.
Denisha Kuhlor is the founder of Stan, an online platform that allows fans to interact with each other. “People who in the past would have been passive viewers or played the sidelines as more observers are now encouraged to participate, whether it’s just commenting on a TikTok video or dueting on a TikTok video. I think character.ai is like the next generation of people contributing to the creation of content.”
Its popularity is also due to artificial intelligence chatbots growing in popularity. Many are trying to replicate the success ChatGPT, an advanced AI chatbot prototype that was both problematic and popular last year. An app called Historical Figures, which uses GPT-3 technology to try to replicate the perspectives of famous people — also became viral in January.
Character.ai uses its own, from-the-ground-up “deep learning models, including large language models,” according to its frequently-asked-questions page. Although it is not clear if celebrities have consented to their images being used on the site, there are several chatbots created by users for various celebrities and characters.
Kuhlor stated that this type of platform “allows people to have more experience” in fan fiction. Character.ai makes it easier to get started in fan fiction writing.
It is critical for a platform like Character to have successful parasocial relationships fans with stars.
Wendi Gardner, an associate professor at Northwestern University, said that “every technology I can think has been a vehicle to parasocial relationships because humans were made for connection with other people.” “And so we do.”
Character.ai lets users create most bots from scratch. Character.ai stresses that interactions are fake. The FAQ states that the product is built on neural language models. “A supercomputer can read huge amounts of text and can learn to anticipate what words will be next in any situation.”
Parasocial relationships are possible with every technology I can remember. Humans were created to connect with other people.
-Wendi Gardiner, associate professor of psychology at Northwestern University
According to the website, this means that characters “make things up!” They can entertain and be useful in many ways but they can also suggest songs that don’t exist or link to fake evidence to back up their claims.
Gardner stated that parasocial relationships are usually healthy, unless they begin to impact real-world relationships. Gardner encourages those with big social appetites to try out platforms such as character.ai.
She noted that this platform could become problematic if people spend too much time on it.
Kuhlor expressed concern that the platform could not be used as a substitute for real relationships. He also pointed out another concern: AI could be used to pursue stans who are perceived enemies of their star.
Some passionate stans may use machine learning to make a celebrity AI behave badly or say bad things to other users in a conflict where the Internet feels forced to side .
Kuhlor stated, “What makes fan culture and stan culture so amazing, in terms of their sophistication and how powerful it can be, also makes it a little frightening.”
She suggested that celebrities may be more cautious about these platforms in the near future. She said that while AI can probably do its best, it may not always reflect reality, especially when nuanced takes are used.
Character.ai’s spokesperson did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
The innovation cannot replace a real interaction between a fan with their favorite celebrity or public figure.
Character.ai states that characters are adept at pretending to appear real — this means imitating human speech.” “You’re still talking to the character.”