PYMNTS MonitorEdge May 2024

Chatbot Maker Character.ai Discussing Potential Partnerships With Meta, xAI

Character.ai

Chatbot maker Character.ai has reportedly held exploratory talks with both Meta and Elon Musk’s xAI, discussing potential partnerships.

The firm has talked with both companies about working together to pre-train and develop AI models, the Financial Times (FT) reported Friday (May 24).

The discussions have centered on research, rather than an acquisition, and no deal has been struck, according to the report.

Character.ai uses large language models (LLMs) to develop chatbots that can converse in the style of different personas, the report said.

Its discussions with Meta and xAI come at a time when tech giants are looking to partner with a variety of startups in the AI field in an effort to develop cutting-edge technology, per the report.

At the same time, tech firms are cautious about acquiring these startups due to concerns about potential regulatory action in jurisdictions around the world, according to the report.

Character.ai launched to the public in 2022. When announcing the introduction of its next-generation web platform in April, the company said in a blog post that it aims to provide “personalized AI for every moment of the day.”

The company added that, “we look forward to continuing our journey together as our team continues on the mission to empower everyone with AGI [artificial general intelligence].”

One of the firms with which Character.ai is reportedly holding discussions, xAI, launched its chatbot called Grok in November 2023, saying the chatbot is “spicy” and “rebellious.”

“Grok is designed to answer questions with a bit of wit and has a rebellious streak, so please don’t use it if you hate humor,” the company wrote at the time on its website.

On Sunday (May 26), xAI announced that it raised $6 billion in a Series B funding round to take its first products to market, build advanced infrastructure and accelerate its research and development (R&D).

Meta introduced 28 new AI-powered personas in September 2023, saying each of its new AIs has personality and unique interests.

“We’ve been creating AIs that have more personality, opinions and interests, and are a bit more fun to interact with,” the company said at the time in a blog post.

In April, Meta said that its capital expenditures on AI and the metaverse-development division Reality Labs will range between $35 billion and $40 billion by the end of 2024.

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