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Talks About Google Investing In An AI Startup Character.AI- Reuters

Talks About Google Investing In An AI Startup Character.AI- Reuters
Talks on investing hundreds of millions of dollars in Character.AI are underway at Alphabet's Google, as the rapidly expanding chatbot firm focused on artificial intelligence looks for funding to train models and meet user demand, according to a report by Reuters quoting information from two people briefed on the situation.
The investment will strengthen the current partnership character; it may be structured as convertible notes, according to a third source.AI already works with Google, where it trains models using Tensor Processing Units (TPUs) and Google's cloud services.
There were no comments in these points from Google and Character.AI on the issue.
Founded by Daniel De Freitas and Noam Shazeer, two former Google workers, Character.AI enables users to create their own chatbots and AI helpers and converse with virtual representations of popular celebrities like Billie Eilish or anime characters. Although it is free to use, there is a subscription option available for $9.99 per month for users who would rather bypass the virtual queue and speak with a chatbot.
With a variety of roles and tones to select from, Character.AI's chatbots have proven popular with users between the ages of 18 and 24, who accounted for around 60% of the website's traffic, according to Similarweb data. In contrast to other AI chatbots like OpenAI's ChatGPT and Google's Bard, the firm is positioning itself as the supplier of more enjoyable personal AI companions thanks in part to the demography.
In the first six months following its inception, the corporation claimed that 100 million monthly visits had been made to their website.
According to insiders, Character.AI is also in discussions with venture capital investors to raise equity money, which could put the company's valuation above $5 billion. At a $1 billion valuation, it raised $150 million in a fundraising round headed by Andreessen Horowitz in March.
The individuals, who asked to remain anonymous because the discussions are confidential, claimed that the talks with Google are still ongoing and that the terms of the agreement could alter.
In addition to its previous stock investment, Google has been investing in AI firms. It has paid $2 billion in convertible notes to model manufacturer Anthropic. Anthropic makes use of the most recent version of TPUs of Google as well as Google's cloud services. 
That is a part of a recent trend in which major cloud service providers, such as Microsoft with its investments in OpenAI and Google and Amazon with their bets on Anthropic, are making deals with AI companies to entice them to use specific cloud or hardware in the computer-intensive race to build models and serve consumers.
At a San Francisco event last week, Chair of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission Lina Khan announced that the agency is investigating cloud providers' involvement in AI startups to check for potential anti-competitive practises.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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