Character.AI, the a16z-backed startup, has introduced a new feature, the Character Group Chat, which allows users to engage in group chats that include both AI characters and human participants.

For instance, users can set up a group chat with AI scientists like Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, Nikola Tesla, and Stephen Hawking, or they can create a mythological gods group chat with Zeus, Hades, and Poseidon.

Access to this feature is initially limited to subscribers, priced at $9.99 per month. The company plans to gather feedback from these early users before making it available to the general public. While the feature is currently exclusive to the Character.AI mobile app on iOS and Android, there are plans to extend its availability to the web.

Data from market intelligence provider indicates the app has nearly 30 million monthly active users globally, suggesting that audiences are not only comfortable entertaining themselves chatting with synthetics, but that they’re willing to pay for the privilege. I have a bunch of questions about this emerging trend; you should, too.

Author’s note: This is not a sponsored post. I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I am not, nor is my company, receiving compensation for it. This work was created with the assistance of various AI models, including but not limited to: GPT-4, Bard, Claude, Midjourney, Stable Diffusion, and others.

About Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the Professor of Advanced Media in Residence at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and CEO of The Palmer Group, a consulting practice that helps Fortune 500 companies with technology, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn’s “Top Voice in Technology,” he covers tech and business for Good Day New York, is a regular commentator on CNN and writes a popular daily business blog. He's a bestselling author, and the creator of the popular, free online course, Generative AI for Execs. Follow @shellypalmer or visit



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