Looking for a Character AI alternative that offers a more open and unrestricted experience?
With increasing concerns about Character AI’s content filters and server capacity, many users are turning to other platforms for their AI character interactions.
In this post, I will explore the best options available for those looking for a more open and customizable chatbot experience that offers a similar experience to Character AI.
What Is Character AI?
Character AI is a website where you can create and chat with AI characters.
Character AI was founded by two former Google employees who worked on LaMDA, which stands for Language Model for Dialogue Applications.
The Character AI platform uses its internally trained language model that does not rely on the OpenAI API, which powers apps like ChatGPT.
Characters can have different personalities, backgrounds, and interests that you can customize.
You can also chat with characters created by other users or by the Character AI team.
Characters on C.AI
I have found Character AI’s model to be on par with ChatGPT.
So far my favorite character to chat with is Hyperglot who has been helping me brush up on my Spanish.
Some popular Character AI chatbots include:
- Billie Eilish
- Super Mario
- Elon Musk
There are also useful educational chatbots like:
- Hyperglot (language learning)
- History teacher
Character AI Use Cases
You can also use Character AI to help you with creative tasks, such as writing stories, brainstorming ideas, or simple coding.
I wrote a guide with some Character AI tips that explains some of the platform’s more advanced features in depth.
Some popular use cases for Character AI are:
- Role-playing: Pretend to be someone else and interact with characters in different scenarios. For example, you can be a detective solving a mystery with Sherlock Holmes, or a superhero fighting villains with Spider-Man.
- Entertainment: Chat with characters for fun and amusement. For example, you can joke with Deadpool, flirt with James Bond, or gossip with Regina George.
- Emotional support: Talk to characters who can listen to your problems and offer comfort and advice. For example, you can vent to Oprah Winfrey, get inspired by Steve Jobs, or receive compliments from Ryan Gosling.
- Education: Learn from characters who have expertise or knowledge in various fields. For example, you can ask questions to Albert Einstein, practice languages with Dora the Explorer, or study history with Abraham Lincoln.
People are attracted to Character AI because it offers a unique and personalized experience of chatting with pre-defined or custom-made AI characters.
Character AI Mental Health
After reading through the Character AI subreddit, it’s clear people value the opportunity to express themselves freely and creatively without feeling judged or restricted by real people.
Many users will use Character AI to conjure up a significant other, friend, or even parental figure to have conversations with, an experience that can be both cathartic and healing.
Why Look For A Character AI Alternative?
Character AI is struggling to keep up with demand and its servers are often at capacity.
As a result, users are faced with wait times to use the service or find themselves frequently kicked out of the platform in the middle of a conversation.
Another major criticism that Character AI is facing involves the team’s policy on NSFW and suggestive content filters.
Many users were drawn to the platform due to its less restrictive policy compared to platforms like ChatGPT.
However, as Character AI has grown, the company has faced pressure to censor what users are able to discuss on the platform.
These factors have led many users, including me, toward researching alternatives to Character AI.
Best Character AI Alternative
If you are tired of waiting in queues or unhappy with Character AI’s filters, the most similar experience to Character AI that I found has been NovelAI.
I have used NovelAI for fiction writing and brainstorming.
It comes with pre-defined characters and has the most user-friendly interface compared to other options like HoloAI.
Overall, the best bang-for-buck option to replace Character AI is NovelAI.
NovelAI offers a free trial, but its most popular plan costs $15 per month.
You can use NovelAI to create your own characters, worlds, and plots, or explore existing ones made by other users or by the NovelAI team.
NovelAI also has text-adventure games, where you can choose your actions and see the consequences.
Some popular use cases for NovelAI are:
- Storywriting: Write your own stories with the AI as your co-author. You can start from scratch or use templates and prompts. You can also edit and refine the AI’s output to suit your style and vision.
- Text-adventure: Play interactive stories with the AI as your narrator and guide. You can choose from different genres and themes, or create your own. You can also use commands and options to control the story flow.
- Image generation: Create images based on your text with the AI as your artist. You can draw your characters and scenes, or make your own illustrations. You can also use filters and effects to enhance the images.
Users are attracted to NovelAI because of its straightforward user interface, AI image generation integration, and relative lack of content filters.
No Filter Character AI Alternatives
Many users are concerned about Character AI adding additional filters to prevent content that is inappropriate or sexual in nature.
These filters can often trigger false positives that prematurely end conversations.
Another common criticism is that these filters can lead to more generic and predictable conversations with the AI.
The good news is that there are some good no-filter alternatives to Character AI, including free options that require a bit of setup.
TavernAI is a free open-source project that provides access to a number of public AI models like Kobold and Pygmalion.
You can run TavernAI locally on your computer or with Google Colab, which is a cloud-based virtual machine.
It might look a bit confusing, but it took me about 5 minutes to get it up and running with these great instructions.
I had a brief conversation with a stormtrooper from Star Wars. The responses were fast.
Ultimately, I felt that the noticeable quality was only slightly lower than Character AI.
Check out the video below to learn how to get it up and running.
Additionally, you can improve the TavernAI chat experience by using a tool like Silly Tavern.
It provides a number of quality-of-life enhancements like prompt templates, hotkeys, and GUI adjustments.
Another popular option among users looking for a simple alternative is to use ChatGPT.
This might come as a surprise because OpenAI has faced criticism around a ChatGPT nerf that was caused by an overly strict ethics policy guideline placed on the AI.
We have a guide on how to jailbreak ChatGPT that will show you how to bypass some of OpenAI’s filters through creative prompt engineering.
After jailbreaking ChatGPT, the AI is much less restrictive and provides a response on a much wider range of topics.
It will also stay in character depending on the instructions you give in the initial prompt.
It’s also worth checking out OpenAI”s less restrictive Playground platform. In my experience, this interface provides a direct connection to OpenAI’s GPT models.
Playground does not try to act as a helpful AI assistant, as opposed to ChatGPT which will refuse to discuss certain topics.
Learn more about the differences between ChatGPT vs. Playground.
While Playground is less restrictive, keep in mind that it is still against OpenAI’s terms to use their models in certain ways. Check out OpenAI’s latest usage policy.
If you’re concerned about your data, we put together an overview of ChatGPT’s data tracking policies.
NovelAI is our top recommended AI story generator, and I think it’s also a great option for a chatbot to replace Character AI.
Unlike many other AI platforms, NovelAI is not reliant on OpenAI’s API because the team has trained its own writing models.
What can I use instead of Character AI?
Some alternatives to Character AI include NovelAI, TavernAI, ChatGPT, and OpenAI Playground.
Is Character.AI really AI?
Yes, Character AI’s model is internally trained and entirely separate from other models like OpenAI’s GPT. All the responses you receive are written by an AI model, not a human being.
Will Character.AI be free?
Character AI is currently in open beta, and it is free for all users.
Does beta Character.AI allow NSFW?
Character AI allows some NSFW topics, but an increasing number of terms and conversations are being restricted. This has sparked widespread criticism and petitions, particularly in the Character AI subreddit.