The emerging A.I. market is expected to reach $196 billion in 2023 on the back of widespread media attention.
Venture capital firms are constantly on the lookout for the next big thing, particularly when the current hype cycle begins to subside. Already well-established in crypto initiatives, Andreessen Horowitz announced on Thursday an investment in Character AI, the creators of the chatbot Character AI.
The series A funding round totaled $150 million and was led by a16z. Nat Friedman, Elad Gil, SV Angel, and A Capital also participated.
Along with the funds, Sarah Wang, a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, will join the board of Character AI.
“If the internet was the dawn of universally accessible information, this moment in A.I. may very well be the dawn of universally accessible intelligence,” Wang tweeted.
Character AI is a web application launched in September 2022 by former Google software engineers Noam Shazeer and Daniel Freitas that generates text responses via pre-programmed character chatbots. Shazeer and Freitas are the CEO and President of Character AI, respectively.
According to Character AI, the funds will provide the necessary resources for the company to expand during its “hypergrowth phase.”
Character AI chatbots can be tailored to each user’s preferences, allowing them to serve as a sympathetic ear or an analytical problem-solver, according to the company.
Character AI claims that over one million A.I. characters have been created using its service, including bots based on Tesla and Twitter CEO Elon Musk, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Michael Jackson, and fictional characters such as Tony Stark and Saul Goodman.
Since OpenAI’s launch of ChatGPT in November 2022, the concept of implementing artificial intelligence in blockchain has gained traction, with developers aiming to integrate the technology with smart contracts and tokens.
While smart contracts are prevalent in Web3, artificial intelligence is becoming a part of the blockchain industry as Hera, ALI, NMR, and AGIX launch A.I. tokens.
A.I. tokens are cryptocurrencies that aim to improve security, user experience, and scalability through the use of artificial intelligence.
According to market intelligence firm Grand View Research, the A.I. industry was valued at more than $136,6 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach $196 billion by 2023.
Alex Pentland, John Werner, and Chris Bishop, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, see a clear path for artificial intelligence to merge with blockchain technology.
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