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Alethea AI has teamed up with blockchain company Polygon to bring the power of generative AI to AI character non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
The deal will enable millions of Artificially Intelligent collectibles to be easily minted on Polygon, a Layer 2 scaling solution for Ethereum.
Alethea AI and Polygon are creating an AI Collectibles campaign, which allows anyone to rapidly create, train and trade AI characters as NFTs on Polygon. Alethea AI received development funds from Polygon to undertake the AI characters project.
“Since we last talked, the thing that is different now is the character’s body is generated from the prompt from the user,” said Arif Khan, CEO of Alethea AI, in an interview with GamesBeat. “And the personality is also generated from the prompt. So it’s like a full character creator, just from the prompt. Previously, the users were creating the personality, giving it a name, giving it habits, this and that. So now, the user enters police officer and it generates everything.”
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The AI Characters are generated using Alethea AI’s recently launched Generative AI System CharacterGPT, a multimodal text-to-character system that goes beyond traditional text-to-image engines like Open AI’s Dall-E 2 or Stability AI’s Stable Diffusion model. Alethea AI has been working on the AI tech for nearly four years.
CharacterGPT enables users to generate fully interactive and intelligent AI characters with a single-line prompt in natural language. Users can generate free AI characters on the recently launched AI Protocol’s dApp mycharacter.ai and then mint them as NFTs on Polygon. It generates both the visuals and the “personality.”
To demonstrate this, a one-of-one AI Collectible of Sandeep Nailwal, the cofounder of Polygon, is now live on the dApp mycharacter.ai, as a tokenized Digital Twin. Sandeep’s AI Collectible is modeled on his writings, public statements and interviews.
It can educate millions of users concurrently on the benefits of utilizing Polygon’s blockchain ecosystem and share anecdotal wisdom on Nailwal’s entrepreneur journey. As more users interact with Nailwal’s Digital Twin, the underlying AI becomes progressively more intelligent over time, Khan said.
Nailwal said in a statement, “Generative AI is advancing at a rapid rate and has the potential to profoundly impact our lives in the coming years. I have seen firsthand how Alethea AI has developed this technology over the last few years and through their CharacterGPT AI engine, users will be able to create interactive characters in a matter of seconds. We are excited to continue supporting Alethea as it builds on Polygon and to bring the power and potential of generative AI to our thriving ecosystem.”
Nailwal’s tokenized AI Collectible comes with an on-chain and verified proof of ownership, represented as a Gold Checkmark on the dApp’s Interface, that is meant to showcase that his AI-generated likeness and intelligence was generated with his permission.
The AI Collectible sits in Nailwal’s Web3 Wallet on Polygon, which he owns and controls. Given the legitimate criticism that Generative AI companies are receiving for training their models on datasets without the explicit consent of its users, the verified Digital Twin of Sandeep Nailwal is the first of its kind launched by Alethea AI and its partners on the AI Protocol: a property rights and ownership layer for Generative AI that is now live on Polygon.
Ahmad Matyana, chief operating officer of Alethea AI, said in a statement, “Generative AI needs a digital property rights backbone to not only provide users the opportunity to bring their imagination to life, but to also own their creations. With CharacterGPT, users can now create interactive, intelligent characters that could serve as their AI companions, digital guides or as NPCs in games. By launching on Polygon, we are now enabling these users to not just create characters for the purposes of training AI engines, but to own them as AI Collectibles in their wallets. We believe a multimodal system like CharacterGPT will herald a Cambrian explosion in character and IP creation, backed by a decentralized model of ownership and governance.”
Each AI character generated on CharacterGPT is fully compatible with the recently deployed smart contracts of the AI Protocol on Polygon. Alethea AI believes that the AI Protocol will serve as the underlying connective tissue that will enable NFTs to “come alive” as interactive media assets, with on-chain personality traits, interoperability across various dApps, powerful generative capabilities, and in the case of Digital Twins: on-chain verification of consent.
The type of AI Collectibles that might be generated on Polygon using Alethea AI’s CharacterGPT AI System are limitless, Khan said. Celebrities might choose to create their own permissioned digital twins to interact with their fans in a scalable way, IP owners can create licensed interactive characters to serve as digital companions for their fans, users can create Siri-like or Alexa-like assistants that can be deployed in their homes, museums and cultural institutions can bring historical figures to life to interact in real-time with their visitors and metaverses and gaming environments can rapidly deploy engaging NPCs to interact and go on quests with their users, increasing engagement and retention in their gaming environments.
Alethea AI has its headquarters in Singapore, but most of its 70 people are distributed around the world. The company has raised $32 million to date.
Khan said that Alethea AI has already trained its large language model with users via crowdsourced training that the company did last year with its community and OpenAI’s technology. In that sense, much of its responses have been corrected for better accuracy. Now users can create their AI characters and mint them easily to establish ownership for the characters. The minting costs and environmental costs have fallen over time thanks to Ethereum’s recent proof of stake shift and the growth of transactions, Khan said.
“The flywheel has gotten stronger, and we’ve creating an intelligence layer that is extremely powerful,” he said. “We collected 15 million API calls, 118 million API tokens were consumed, and we collected about half a million data sets to augmented the conversation data sets. Now developers and creators can build on this intelligence layer we call CharacterGPT.”
Now the character creator can generate a new character in about a minute or so. Then you can start having a chat conversation with the character and then try to use it for a variety of things, from game avatars to ecommerce chatbots. Khan showed me in a demo how easy it was.
“You saw how easy the process was, and this means it will be a lot easier for creators and consumers to create all sorts of applications, whether it’s a companion, coach or a character in the metaverse,” Khan said.
You can, for instance, play chess with a virtual Alan Turing character. For Khan, this has been a long journey to get here. The first AI character, Alice, took about a year to create. Then it took six months or so to get better at it. Now it takes a minute.
“We have democratized character creation and we have massive scale and massive speed,” he said. “Just like essay generation has been somewhat democratized by Chad GPT. This is an exponential curve.”