At a time where ChatGPT, Bing, and Bard are sorting the issue of not sounding like a human, several other generative AI chatbots are entering the space to take up a share of the flourishing market.
The market has become so competitive that by the time you get accustomed to one chatbot another one pops up. Today, we are going to talk about a similar in-trend platform which is not just taking the domain by storm with its fast rising user base but is also set to dethrone the supremacy of ChatGPT. Character.AI.
The idea behind the Character.AI chatbot is simple – enable simple, engaging, and entertaining conversations between humans and fictional characters. These characters can be historical figures, movie characters, tech evangelists, or even a nobody and the conversations can have little to zero factual relevance. It all works perfectly until the conversations take a mature turn, for which they have set up strict NSFW guidelines.
The instant success that the generative model chatbot has found has made it an inspiration for entrepreneurs looking to leave a mark in the AI-powered business world. This article is for those entrepreneurs. We will explore the different facets you will have to look into when building an AI-based app like Character.AI in order to prepare you for the competitive space.
Table of contents
The basics of an app like Character.AI
Character.ai uses a combination of advanced AI and machine learning to build intelligent chatbots that are capable of having personalized, natural conversations with users. The platform runs on neural language models and a supercomputer that reads massive amounts of text and learns the art of hallucination to decide which words might come next in a given conversation.
With an AI product like Character.AI, you can collaborate with the platform to prepare dialogues – you write a character’s lines, and the computer creates the other character’s dialog, giving you the impression that you are talking with that other character.
Features of generative AI chatbot like Character.AI
When you build AI app to be highly immersive and requiring constant real-time learning, there are a number of features you should plan to support the business goal. Let us look at some of those features that will be an integral part of your Character.AI like app development efforts.
A generative AI chatbot like character.AI should come with a dashboard feature where the users can view the ongoing chats, characters they frequently talk to, and a high-level performance of their character in terms of engagement.
The core of AI-based app like Character.AI lies in characters. When building a similar solution, you will typically get two options: A. To keep the control of making characters to yourself or B. Extend the control to your users as well, giving them the ability to build characters and train them by having conversations with them.
As for Character.AI, it works on the second business model in addition to giving users the ability to create characters that can even generate images.
Talk to characters
In addition to building characters, your app should also give the users an ability to have a conversation with other active chatbots in the platform. Now, the things you should focus on here is that although factual accuracy is not expected from the characters, for the sake of engagement it is important for the characters to be aligned with their real-life version’s opinions and way of talking.
Create a room
One of the specific features of Character.AI lies in creating a room. The concept is about creating a space where multiple chatbots can interact with each other like for example Elon Musk can talk to Socrates about philosophy and the users can give prompts on the topic.
When you build AI app like Character.AI, the feed section acts like a social media element. In the case of the character.ai app, you get a scrollable view of posts created by profiles you have liked or followed. These posts are typically a snippet of characters talking to each other with an option to like, comment, and share those posts.
For a chatbot that has very little human control and works majorly on learning from conversations, there is a probability of them becoming negative, using slurs, being racially or politically insensitive, getting into mature conversations etc. To address this, it is critical to have strict NSFW code implemented in client-side encryption.
The way it usually works is during the typing stage itself the encryption highlights specific words and doesn’t allow users to type them.
AI platforms, specifically those in the beta stage come with a community functionality where the developers and users can interact with each other to discuss the issues, new updates, new features suggestions, etc.
Now that we have looked at the features for Character.AI like app development, let us move to the models that set the foundation of what is Character.AI.
The models behind Character.AI
The platform uses LLM and Neural Language Model to build and scale a highly interactive chat system. Let us look into both the models on a high level.
Neural language models use neural networks for predicting the sequence of words. These models get trained on a massively large amount of text data, which helps them learn the underlying structure of the language. NLMs can easily handle large vocabularies and even understand, interact in less known or rare words through distributed representations.
Closely related to the Neural language model, large language model (LLM) is a deep learning algorithm which performs a range of natural language processing (NLP) tasks using transformer models. They are trained on high-volume datasets that enable them to identify, translate, predict, and generate content.
With the technicalities of Character.AI now discussed, let us move to the section that a majority of entrepreneurs are interested in – the development cost and ways to get a competitive edge.
How much would Character.AI development cost?
The cost of building a chatbot platform like Character.AI depends on these factors
- Features you are planning to add
- The underlying model
- Number of platforms
- Resources who will be working on the project and their location.
Based on the assumption that you will be building an app similar to Character.AI that will be launched on both mobile and web, the resource requirement will look something like this –
- 1 Project manager
- 1 Frontend developer
- 1 Backend developer
- 1 Machine Learning engineer
- 1 Data engineer/Analyst
- 2 QA experts
- 1 UI/UX designer
Noting the features mentioned in the article along with the models and the resources’ details, the approximate cost of the project can be anywhere between $150k to $250k. It is important to note that the operational cost in terms of server maintenance will always be an add-on post delivery cost that you will have to manage.
Considering the heavy amount of investment that will go into the cost of building character.ai like app, you are bound to wonder if there is even a point in putting that effort and time in, since the application has bagged a massive user base. Well, even amidst the competition, there are scopes of addition in the business model. Let us cover them next.
Ways to get a competitive edge over Character.AI
While Character.AI has been built to be a robust, highly interactive, and rules-abiding chatbot platform, there are two areas that you can look into to get an edge over it.
- Better design. In its current form, Character.AI doesn’t give a highlighted demarcation in terms of profile themes, chats that you have liked, profiles you follow, etc. While all these elements are present under the Home tab, a clear division remains missing. Additionally, you can also think along the lines of building personalized recommender system that suggests which profile to interact with next.
- API. The chatbots you create in Character.AI remain inside the platform. There is no way to take them outside of the platform and use them on other websites. By adding this functionality, you will be able to promote your Character.AI like platform on multiple domains.
These are only two of many other ways you can build your platform to be better than Character.AI. Get in touch with our team of artificial intelligence solutions experts to brainstorm more such ideas.
How can Simublade help?
At Simublade, we hold the record of working with untested AI development services. We build upon unconventional ideas that come with the promise of changing how we interact with digital platforms.
With that said, we are also the experts in creating organic, time-tested solutions that rely heavily on AI, for example a recommendation engine, OTT apps, and insights-driven fintech products. The reason businesses, across sizes and domains, choose to partner with us for creating smart solutions is our focus on their business model and users requirements – combining both, we build a development strategy that guarantees success from the day of conceptualization. Experience the Simublade offering yourself.