“Character AI”, also known as Character.ai, is a web-based chatbot application based on neural language models that can generate human-like text responses and engage in contextual conversations. It was developed by former Google LaMDA developers, Noam Shazeer and Daniel De Freitas, and its beta model became publicly available in September 2022.
Character AI: Human Conversations and Unique Personalities
Users can create “characters,” design their “personalities,” set specific parameters, and then publish them to the community for others to chat with. Many characters can be based on fictional media sources or celebrities, while others are completely original, some created with specific goals in mind, such as assisting with creative writing or being a text-based adventure game. Users can connect with a single character or organize group chats that involve multiple characters conversing with each other and/or the user simultaneously.
When a character sends a response, users can rate the response from 1 to 4 stars. Additionally, users can provide reasons for choosing a specific star rating by clicking on one of the 4 to 6 buttons. The rating predominantly affects the specific character but also impacts the overall behavior selection. Users can also click the right arrow to have the AI generate a new response and review the generated messages by clicking the left arrow.
The software, built upon advanced deep learning and expansive language models, is currently in beta and continues to improve. In November 2022, the conversation memory capacity was doubled so that the AI could “remember” older messages.
The “personalities” of the characters are designed through descriptions from the character’s perspective and their greeting message, and they are shaped from converted conversations into examples, giving their messages star ratings and modifications to align with the precise dialect and desired identity.
Users can start creating their bots by entering either the quick character creation mode or the advanced mode. In the advanced creation, users can input short and long descriptions, as well as the “definition” or example chats that give the AI a better understanding of the character’s behavior. For inexperienced users, an official guide on perfecting character creation, called Character Book, can be found on the website.
The website states that “pornographic content is against our terms of service and will not be supported at any time in the future.” This statement and its implementation have been subject to criticism from its user base.