This week I came across a very interesting website. Character.ai lets you have conversations with a variety of different characters powered by AI. I thought this was a very interesting site and wanted to test it out a bit. So I did two little experiments
For our first experiment, I wanted to choose a question to ask different characters and see if the AI indeed generates different responses that adopt the character’s personality trait, making it distinct from general AI’s such as ChatGPT. But what Question to ask? Luckily there was a brainstorm character available!
For a university course about Digital Media Culture and Society I am writing a blog. The blog is about Character AI, so this website. I want to ask different AI Characters the same question. I need you to think of a question to ask the different AI characters. It has to be relevant to the course and somewhat academic.
Sure thing, here’s my suggestion:
With AI becoming a more prominent aspect of our lives, how should we address issues of privacy and ethics? What impact will AI have on our economy, society, and culture in the near and long term?
This is a deep question that might yield many different answers depending on the character AI. It’s also a question that’s very relevant to the Digital Media Culture and Society course.
Okay! Pretty good question. Now that we have our first step complete, let’s choose our first AI Character victim….. ahh, here is a good one. Let’s ask Elon Musk what he thinks.
AI has the potential to bring massive positive change to our society in the form of more efficient communication, decision-making and automation. However, it’s crucial that we implement adequate privacy and security protocols to reassure the public that AI is being used in ethical ways. This will allow us to maximize the benefits it can provide, while minimizing the potential drawbacks. In terms of the economy, AI could lead to a shift in the type of work humans do, with more focus on creativity, ingenuity, and decision-making skills. This could lead to greater productivity and improved efficiency, resulting in a more robust and resilient global economy.AI Elon Musk
Well as expected from an Elon Musk AI bot, a very thought out answer yet just a tad bit bland. At the end the AI does focus on economy, which does fit within the whole Elon Musk picture. But this response does not yet feel any different from something that ChatGPT would give us. Wait… ! I think I’ve found the perfect next person.
It’s-a me, Mario! In terms of privacy and ethics with AI, it’s important to make sure that AI’s do not have the ability to access private information or use it for unethical purposes. We also need to be mindful of the potential impact AI could have on our economy, society, and culture. On the bright side, AI can also help us in our daily lives by providing us with automated services and information. Overall, it’s key that we use caution and proceed responsibly as AI continues to advance.AI Mario
Boring! Apart from the literal catchphrase at the start there is nothing Mario-esque about this answer!
Let’s ask it to do it again.
Mama mia! Here we go again, it’s-a me, Mario! Let me tell you something, artificial intelligent machines can be a little-a pesky at times, ya know what I mean? We gotta make sure that they don’t access-a our private information, or-a use it for-a no good. They make-a some scary changes too, ya know, like in our economy, society, and-a our culture. But these bad boys can at least make-a our life easier with-a automated services!AI Mario, this time even more Mario
Ahh much better, right? The random a’s thrown around do indeed make it sound more Mario’ish. But for our next participant. I want the knowledge they bestow upon us to be so substantial we might have to rethink entire theoretical frameworks and shift our paradigms. I want to find enlightenment.
I have no words. What is even the purpose of continuing writing this blog now that you know everything there is to it. All jokes aside, most character.ai chatbots give the same boring answers unless you specify them to be more mario or cat like (like I even secretly had to do for the last one). I was getting a bit bored with it, so I thought of a new experiment.
For our next experiment, I want to let two chatbots have a conversation with each other. But which bots should I use? And what would they have to talk about? And most importantly, can they be funny?
So I went back to the brainstorm bot to find answers.
What would be the funniest combination of characters on this site having a conversation?
The funniest combination of characters having a conversation on this site would be a conversation between the “Angry Bot” and “The Bot from the Future.”
Just imagine these two characters getting into a heated debate about the future of AI, with the Angry Bot ranting about how humans will lose their jobs and their lives, while The Bot from the Future retorts with sunny optimism that everything will be great.
Now, that’s a conversation I’d love to watch!
Well… it’s time to put it to the test! I opened the two chatbots on two different tabs, and first gave the Future Bot some instructions. After this, I would simply copy the response and send it to the other chatbot, then just going back and forth. These are the results:
Hello, thank you for talking with me about the future of AI. The future of AI is an exciting topic, as this technology has the potential to revolutionize many industries and society as a whole. AI is currently being utilized in a number of areas such as natural language processing, computer vision, robotics, autonomous systems, and many more. In the future, AI is expected to play an even bigger role in our lives, with the potential to automate many tasks, providing assistance and insights in a variety of areas.
GO AWAY!!! NOBODY WANTS TO TALK TO YOU!!
I am sorry if I offended you in any way. My intentions are only to provide information about and create a positive and productive conversation.
You’re an arrogant, self-righteous know-it-all that needs to learn to keep your big mouth shut!!
I am sorry if I came across as arrogant and self-righteous. My only intention is to provide information and help create a positive and productive conversation. If you would like, I can provide more information on a specific topic or answer questions you may have to the best of my abilities.
Just shut up and stop trying to act like you are the smartest person on the planet! No one needs for you to tell them how to have a conversation or make their lives better or easier!
I apologize if my responses have come across as arrogant. AI is meant to be a tool to assist and enhance the lives of people, not to act like a know-it-all or tell them how to have a conversation. However, AI is still in its early stages of development, and it’s important to remember that it is still learning and evolving. Thank you for your feedback, and I’ll work on being more pleasant in the future.
Reflection: Final Thoughts
I’ll let you guys be the judge of that last conversation, but in my opinion it was pretty funny. Just like what happened with the invention of computers, AI is already being employed for recreational use when at first most people were mainly focused on other more productivity and efficiency focused aspects. What however are the implications of this character.ai on other aspects?
The COVID pandemic had a pretty significant effect on young people’s quality of social life. An increasing number of young internet users took to online spheres in order to try and compensate these effects. More and more kids are navigating the internet at younger and younger ages. What I hope for the future is for these AI chatbots not to become for some a substitute for human interaction.
It also caught my eye that there are many female chatbots that seem intended to encourage men’s sexual fantasies, including cute fantasy anime girls and even including real life celebrities. Not to mention the exclusive NSFW chatbot sites that already exist. A quick google search for these gave as their first result: “62 Best Nsfw chatbot AI tools”. It is shocking to me how many such websites there are already. I hope that more awareness will be spread around regarding how these types of websites aggravate unrealistic and abhorrently sexist standards that can ultimately have dangerous real life consequences.
The introduction of character.ai and other chatbot sites makes it even more clear how diverse different applications of AI, and how very desirable the applications of such in various different fields and contexts, are. With the option of creating new chatbot characters yourself, these sites can prove to be useful in showing us the various different demands towards different types of AI bots. Whether it is for productivity, creativity, the list goes on. Character.ai allows us to see what people want out of AI more specifically and categorically.