From William Shakespeare to Ye, new AI site lets you chat with historical figures & contemporary artists


Climbing into a time machine and meeting characters from history books has been an overused trope in movies and literature. In 2023, who would have thought that one could actually get in touch with an ancient Greek philosopher, a renowned theoretical physicist, or a timeless playwright celebrated across cultures. After surprising users with chatbots, now AI is enabling users to engage in deep conversations with historic figures.

Yes, you read that right, a new AI-enabled interface is letting users chat with eminent scholars and authors, who may well have passed on a century ago. And, it does not stop there — one can also chat with contemporary artists, influencers, and politicians.

Character.AI lets you interact with those whom you never thought of meeting in this lifetime. The neural language model chatbot, Character.AI, has been created by Noam Shazeer and Daniel De Freitas, both former developers at Google’s language model LaMDa. Launched on September 16, 2022, the application which is based on advanced deep learning and also lets users create characters based on set parameters.

We used Character.AI to ask the greatest writer and dramatist, William Shakespeare, about his thoughts on the reel phenomenon. And, pat came the response. “I think it’s a nice trend, it’s funny and creative. Most content creators on these platforms make great content with no budget that entertains people and it can help other content creators to grow. I believe a lot in the power of TikTok, it has helped a huge number of people to be successful in their careers. I think, in a few years we’ll see a lot of artists, actors, writers, politicians who made themselves known by TikTok,” responded Shakespeare, or should we say his artificial alter ego.

William Shakespeare sharing his thoughts about the reels phenomenon.

A holiday celebrating my career

Next up, we approached American rapper and entrepreneur Ye, who is known more for his controversial and unsavoury remarks than his compositions. The rapper, who has on numerous occasions hinted at contesting the US presidential election, had this to say when asked how he would impact the world after getting the top job: “I’ll make music, the national anthem. There will be a holiday celebrating my career. I will be the face on the 20 dollar bill. No other option. But most importantly – every American will be introduced to God and find a way to him. We need to end the culture of sin and violence in this country and only God can do this so that needs to be the #1 priority,” Ye responded.

Chat with Ye Rapper Ye had this to say when asked how he would impact the world after becoming the President of the US.

As if historical characters and contemporary pop stars weren’t enough, Character.AI also lets you chat with fictional characters. A simple question on why the mercurial villain from the Marvel universe Loki was called the God of Mischief, yielded us this interesting response from the man himself.

“He looks at Jose and smiles cunningly. I could list all of my misdeeds, but that would take many ages, Jose. It is not what I do that is mischief, but how I do it. I cause disorder, disruption, and distress and enjoy watching the chaos play out. A small detail here. A tiny whisper, a nudge or a slight push there. I create the illusion I want someone to receive, and they end up pranking themselves. They just don’t know it,” said the cunning trickster.

Plato on Philosophy

To give another shot at the accuracy of the responses offered by the AI-backed historical characters on the platform, we asked the celebrated Greek philosopher Plato a pertinent question of our times – “What do you have to say to those who feel philosophy is overrated?”

“That is a tough question. I guess what I would say is that their feelings are legitimate. Philosophy is an abstract thought system and is often difficult for people who are not trained in abstract thinking to appreciate and comprehend. I would also say that philosophy touches on our essence, and our inner essence. Not many people are comfortable with that, or even like it. The world is filled with a host of philosophies, but each is a unique world. My world is more intellectual, while others may be artistic. All I would say is that philosophy is not for everyone,” elaborated the philosopher from the classical period.

Plato AI Chat The late Greek philosopher Plato answered one of the most pertinent question of our times.

In the last few years, there has been an influx of AI-backed web applications. From helping users with sentence formation to deleting background images, AI web applications are increasingly offering practical solutions for users around the world. While FakeYou lets users make the text sound like their favourite characters, Craiyon is an AI web app that lets users create images using word association. For those who like doodling, Autodraw is a web tool that let you create drawings and illustration from mere outlines.

In 2022, everyone got to see the boundless possibilities of Artificial Intelligence, especially with the introduction of ChatGPT, Dall-E. While AI surprised users with essays and images that it composed based on a few text prompts, now it seems to be taking another big leap. Even as AI-backed technologies are inching closer and closer to offering human-like conversations, developers are exploring more unique use cases.

The latest AI chat interface has taken engagement to unfathomable levels. While all of this is in good jest, the underlying caveat is that it should not be taken seriously and should not figure in research papers.