The Next Big Thing: My Take on the Google-Character.AI Deal

Exciting news, my marketing friends! As you may have heard, Google is in talks to invest hundreds of millions into none other than Character.AI – the red-hot generative AI startup behind those viral celebrity chatbots.

This has huge implications for the future of AI, especially for us in the marketing world. Let me break down what we know so far about this potential deal.

What Is Character.AI?

Founded by former Google employees Noam Shazeer and Daniel De Freitas, Character.AI allows people to chat with virtual versions of celebrities like Billie Eilish or anime characters, while creating their own chatbots and AI assistants. It is free to use, but offers subscription model that charges $9.99 a month for users who want to skip the virtual line to access a chatbot.

Character.AI’s chatbots, with various roles and tones to choose from, have appealed to users ages 18 to 24, who contributed about 60% of its website traffic, according to data from Similarweb. The demographic is helping the company position itself as the purveyor of more fun personal AI companions, compared to other AI chatbots from OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bard.

The company previously said its website had attracted 100 million monthly visits in the first six months since its launch.

What This Deal Could Mean

Character.AI has exploded onto the scene, attracting millions of Gen Z users who love chatting with their hyper-realistic AI friends. The startup’s been strategic in positioning themselves as the “fun” AI – all about simulated conversations versus informational searches.

Now, with skyrocketing demand, they need capital to keep scaling. Enter Google with their deep pockets and cloud computing power. It’s a match made in heaven! Google gets to expand its AI investments, while Character.AI gains the infrastructure to train better models faster.

The timing is no coincidence either. With buzz around ChatGPT and competition heating up, Google needs to plant its flag deeper in AI to boost its credibility. This deal would do just that in a big way!

I’m hearing the investment could top $500 million, which would value Character.AI at over $5 billion. Not bad for a fledgling startup! No wonder venture capitalists are chomping at the bit to get a piece of the action too.

Of course, teaming up with Google comes with trade-offs. Character.AI will likely rely more on Google’s cloud and hardware for its needs, reducing flexibility. And regulators are already sniffing around these types of deals for antitrust issues.

But for now, it’s a win-win in my book. Character.AI gets the money and infrastructure to keep innovating. Google buys itself a leading role in the AI race. And we marketers get more cool new tools to play with!

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see what generative AI can do for advertising and marketing down the road. The sky’s the limit if creativity is automated! We’re just beginning to scratch the surface.

So keep your eyes peeled, friends. With moves like this Google-Character.AI deal, things are getting really interesting in AI land! The marketing implications will be huge.

What do you think? Are you as pumped as I am to see how this shakes out? Let me know your thoughts!

If you need assistance understanding how to leverage Generative AI in your marketing, advertising, or public relations campaigns, contact us today. In-person and virtual training workshops are available. Or, schedule a session for a comprehensive AI Transformation strategic roadmap to ensure your marketing team utilizes the right GAI tech stack for your needs.

Read more: The Next Big Thing: My Take on the Google-Character.AI Deal


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