2 min read

Noam Shazeer

Noam Shazeer

QuHarrison Terry presents Noam Shazeer, Founder & CEO of Character.ai, with the WTF Innovators Award for his range of contributions to AI, from developing the Transformer to expanding the pool of interest in conversational AI, while also enabling millions of people to design their own AI characters.

The WTF Innovators Award recognizes excellence at the precipice of societal change, with the inaugural class focusing on AI innovators. As a memento, each of the 34 awardees are gifted a featured song by QuHarrison Terry and Genesis Renji. We present “Whole Lotta”, produced by Nimso, to Noam Shazeer.

Character.ai offers an ever-growing library of customizable AI companions with distinct personalities, speaking styles, and interpersonal purposes. Users have created over 10 million unique AI characters on the platform, ranging from innovators like Einstein to general professions like Life Coach to text-based games like Star Wars RPG.

Users spend an astounding average of 29 minutes on Character.ai per session. Their web app gets over 200 million visits per month. And their mobile app was downloaded over 1.7 million times in the first 48 hours of launching on iOS and Android.

Noam has created a clearly addictive AI product that people are using to battle boredom and loneliness. The average session time is a testament to the technology. But what’s truly innovative is that Noam has enabled millions of non-programmers to invent things with AI through natural language. – QuHarrison Terry.

Prior to founding Character.ai, Noam Shazeer developed and introduced the Transformer network in a 2017 paper titled “Attention Is All You Need.” Transformer architectures are responsible for all the modern advances that large language models have achieved. He built upon this research with Mesh-Tensorflow (2018), the first practical system for training giant Transformers on supercomputers.

While working at Google, Noam co-developed the PHIL algorithm which was core to the success of AdSense. He also co-led a team of researchers that built Project LaMDA – Google’s language model for powering AI chat experiences.

Not only did Noam’s research lay the foundation for LLMs today, but he’s now made the most approachable AI application for familiarizing people with AI. His impact is unmatched. He knows how to delight AI consumers and innovators alike. – QuHarrison Terry.