1 min read

Link: The teens making friends with AI chatbots

“Psychologist” is one of many bots that Aaron has discovered since joining Character.AI, an AI chatbot service launched in 2022 by two former Google Brain employees. Character.AI’s website, which is mostly free to use, attracts 3.5 million daily users who spend an average of two hours a day using or even designing the platform’s AI-powered chatbots. Some of its most popular bots include characters from books, films, and video games, like Raiden Shogun from Genshin Impact or a teenaged version of Voldemort from Harry Potter. There’s even riffs on real-life celebrities, like a sassy version of Elon Musk. Aaron is one of millions of young people, many of whom are teenagers, who make up the bulk of Character.AI’s user base. More than a million of them gather regularly online on platforms like Reddit to discuss their interactions with the chatbots, where competitions over who has racked up the most screen time are just as popular as posts about hating reality, finding it easier to speak to bots than to speak to real people, and even preferring chatbots over other human beings. Some users say they’ve logged 12 hours a day on Character.AI, and posts about addiction to the platform are common. “I’m not going to lie,” Aaron said. “I think I may be a little addicted to it.” #


Yoooo, this is a quick note on a link that made me go, WTF? Find all past links here.