Anyone who’s kept up with developments in the tech world in the last year will tell you that artificial intelligence (AI) has been everywhere. From ChatGPT to other generative AI tools, people from all walks of life have been exploring the use of artificial intelligence and we’ve found that they can do some very interesting things.
From writing our emails to creating art for us, AI has become a part of our lives, both online and offline, in a significant way. One of the latest AI developments to capture the public’s attention is CharacterGPT. While it is not from the same company that gave us ChatGPT, it nonetheless has the potential to be very influential. In this guide, we break down what it is and how it works.
CharacterGPT: Text-to-Character Generative AI System
At this point, many of us are familiar with generative AIs. These are AIs that can take and analyse pre-existing data and generate content based on them. An AI could analyse hundreds of customer complaints and responses and develop responses to customers based on them, for example. CharacterGPT works similarly except that what it generates are characters.
As far-fetched as that might sound, that is exactly what it does: CharacterGPT is fed text by and about specific characters and it creates virtual iterations of them, from their appearance to their behaviour. These iterations are not lifeless: they can interact with users and behave in a way that is consistent with the text.
For example, CharacterGPT can create a virtual version of Donald Trump based on his tweets and this version will interact with the user and respond in a way that ‘fits’ the tone and style of the tweets. The idea of a virtual friend or person is not necessarily new but CharacterGPT is doing something different by basing this on actual prompts by people. Its parent company Alethea.AI has said that the charters that CharacterGPT creates are designed to be emotionally intelligent and expressive which gives them a wide range of possible applications.
Lots of things have been generated from AI text prompts, from songs to art to even longer pieces of text. But CharacterGPT is doing something truly unique by creating entire characters that look and act as close to the real thing as possible.
Launch of CharacterGPT
CharacterGPT’s parent company Alethea.AI has been in existence since 2019. It was founded by Arif Khan and has been breaking tech barriers from the start. Alethea.AI created the first intelligent non-fungible token (NFT) which was sold for $478,800 in 2021. That same year, Aletha.AI partnered with the Fame Lady Squad NFT Community to turn its collection into interactive characters. Over the next few years, the company embarked on several projects that saw NFTs being brought to life. Following investments from the Binance Smart Chain (BSC) and Amazon Web Services (AWS), Alethea.AI announced CharacterGPT in January 2023.
CharacterGPT was the culmination of several years of creating intelligent digital assets and now, Alethea.AI was letting users create AI characters using descriptions in natural language. This was the first multimodal generative AI system to do so and could potentially set the stage for AI use in the coming years.
This project was supported by the $31.4 million that it had raised from a token distribution auction and private sales. Public support and use of the tool increased significantly and by June 2023, CharacterGPT v2 was released. Unlike its predecessor, this one had better comprehension skills and could generate more in-depth responses to user prompts.
How CharacterGPT Works
At its core, CharacterGPT is a multimodal AI system that generates AI characters through prompts in natural language. But how does it work?
Simply put, it works by translating prompts. Generative AIs are designed to analyse large batches of text and predict what a piece of text (a prompt) would require. This is how the appearance of the avatar comes in. Say you put in a prompt for a character with red hair and blue eyes. The AI goes back into its resources and determines what red hair and blue eyes look like. This is then used to create the physical features of the AI.
The same is done for the personality of the character. When a user enters a prompt into CharacterGPT, they can specify how they want the character to behave. If the character is meant to be professional or playful, this can be specified. Again, the CharacterGPT AI will then design the character based on the examples of ‘professional’ or ‘playful’ behaviour they have been fed and this will impact how the characters behave. Another thing that can be customized is the character’s voice. Depending on the prompt, the character can be told to have a specific type of voice or even the voice of someone who already exists.
Many of us have seen the AI-generated audio online of cartoon characters covering popular songs and whatnot. By analysing the voices of people or characters that already exist, CharacterGPT can create a lifelike avatar that we can interact with. All these factors brought together also contribute towards how the character interacts with the user. If the character has been designed to be a snarky version of a cartoon, for example, CharacterGPT would create one that speaks and responds in a way that is consistent with the data that is given.
Once these characters are created, they can also be tokenized on the blockchain, shared, and used for a host of applications.
CharacterGPT: Benefits and Use Cases
With all of its capabilities, it comes as no surprise that CharacterGPT has a wide range of benefits. Among them are the following:
- More effective learning. By creating more interactive and enjoyable educational materials, learning could be more effective among students.
- Better customer interactions. In the case of customer service bots and digital guides, customers might have a better experience having their needs met by businesses.
- Inter-personal interactions. Digital twins can help people connect with their friends and could even be used to have some connection with deceased loved ones.
- New income for creators. Creators, celebrities, and influencers could create a new source of income by selling their interactive characters.
Thanks to its benefits, CharacterGPT has already been found useful in a number of cases. A few of them are described below:
- Educational purposes. It has been suggested that CharacterGPT avatars can be used to re-animate long-dead historical figures and other people of note to aid classroom learning. By doing this, students can get a realistic and interactive view of the persons they are learning about.
- Customer service. These interactive avatars could become the next generation of customer service tools. As opposed to chatbots that only respond through text, these characters would be visible to the customer and have more of a personality.
- Digital twins. Interested users can create digital twins of themselves that others can interact with purely for entertainment or for more serious purposes.
- Digital guides. Websites and businesses trying to guide customers through their processes and products could use one of these avatars to make them more interactive and enjoyable.
- Virtual assistants. Virtual assistants are already used around the world but giving them a face and more of a personality could significantly improve the experience for users.
- Entertainment and collectables. People can design and share these interactive avatars purely for the sake of entertainment and these could even be sold as collectables.
As humans continue to embrace artificial intelligence, we will inevitably find that the things we can do with it are endless. CharacterGPT shows yet another application of AI, which is creating virtual characters that we can interact with. These characters can be anyone, can have any personality, look like anyone, and can perform all sorts of roles.
Besides the novelty of having virtual characters that we can talk to, they also have a wide range of applications. From bringing a bit of excitement into education to helping customers to help public figures connect with fans, we are only just scratching the surface of what CharacterGPT can do.