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Why AI Roleplay is Dominating 2024 Tech

Our experts break down what AI roleplay chatbots are and how they might benefit you.
AI Roleplay

Sooooooo you just heard the term ‘AI roleplay’, got curious, and decided to do a quick Google search to see what the fuzz is all about right? Then you are in the right place my friend!

AI roleplay apps are gaining massive popularity lately with Character AI, the biggest AI chatbot after ChatGPT has more than 20 million users. Crazy right?? (Forbes Africa)

Featured snippet of Forbes Africa: "20 million users have signed up for character.ai".
Featured Snippet: Forbes Africa

I have a master’s degree in AI ethics and have been testing out AI roleplay applications since the release of ChatGPT in 2020. In this epic AI roleplay guide you will learn exactly:

  • What AI Roleplay is
  • How it can benefit you
  • What the Best AI roleplay apps are

Let’s get down to business.

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What Is AI Roleplay?

AI roleplay involves using artificial intelligence to simulate conversations with virtual characters or scenarios. It’s designed for a range of purposes including education, skill development, entertainment, and exploring various situations in a controlled environment. Through interactive dialogue, users can engage with AI in personalized experiences, enhancing learning and providing insights into complex subjects or personal interests.

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Why Use AI Roleplay Apps?

Why Use AI Roleplay?

So why would somebody use an AI roleplay app in the first place? It’s a good question, and there are several reasons.

a Book

Leveling Up Your Learning Game

AI roleplay turns out to be a fantastic method for helping students tackle complicated subjects, especially in artificial intelligence. A study featured in Science Direct explored the impact of using AI roleplay apps to teach machine learning, and the outcomes were quite positive. It even showed that elementary school kids could get the hang of machine learning basics. What's more, students who were initially uneasy about AI ended up having a much more positive outlook. (Artificial Intelligence 5, 100162)

It’s well-known that turning learning into a game, or gamification, is an effective way to teach complex ideas to today’s students. By integrating AI roleplay into education, we’re looking at a powerful tool for learning. (eLearning Industry)

Imagine a medical student learning how to conduct patient interviews through roleplay – it could significantly enhance their understanding and skills.

a Business man jumping from excitment

Boosting Your Career Skills

AI roleplay is a cool way to boost your skills, especially for work-related stuff. There's this big chatbot platform called Character AI, right after ChatGPT, and it's packed with AI chatbots for all sorts of personal growth. For example, they've got this “interviewer” chatbot that helps you practice job interviews. Just tell it the job you're going for, and it'll hit you with real-life interview questions and even give you tips on how to do better.

The interviewer AI chatbot on Character.AI
An Interviewer Roleplay Chatbot on Character.aI

They’ve got a whole bunch of other AI chatbots too, for things like:

      • Getting better at managing your time
      • Solving problems
      • Handling stress
      • Leading a team

    …and lots more. It’s like having a personal coach for all kinds of work skills. (Euronews)

    Bag of Money

    Cutting Costs on Premium Advice

    This year, we're seeing more professionals like lawyers, therapists, and accountants turn to creating their own AI chatbots. These specialized services can get pricey, and not everyone can swing the cost. For instance, Better Help mentions that a session for online sex therapy can set you back $50 to $90. (BetterHelp)

    Recently, the well-known sex education site, Beducated, launched an AI sex coach that’s been programmed by sex therapists. It lets users ask up to 10 questions a day for free. If you want more, there’s a subscription for $29.99, which is a steal compared to traditional therapy sessions. (Beducated)

    Beducated AI sex coach homepage
    Beducated's AI Sex Coach

    And it’s not just Beducated. Lawyers and accountants are also getting in on the action with Character AI, offering chatbots that break down complex advice into simple, understandable answers.

    a Nintendo Switch

    Diving Into Fun and Games

    However, it's important to note that Character AI isn't specifically designed for therapy or career growth; its main purpose is entertainment, and that's where it truly excels. AI roleplay apps enable you to interact with characters from beloved movies and games. Imagine chatting with Hermione Granger from "Harry Potter" or Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, from "The Avengers." AI roleplay offers a fun, interactive way for fans to engage with their favorite film and game universes.

    male and female sex symbol

    Exploring Desires Without the Risk

    And then, there's the grown-up side of AI roleplay apps. Recently, we've seen a rise in NSFW chatbots that let you dive into adult scenarios. Picture scenarios like a teacher and student, a doctor and patient, or even a plumber and a cheating housewife. These AI sex chatbots get a bad rap in the media because of ethical issues, but I think they can be useful. Lots of folks have fantasies they're too shy to talk about with their partner, like being watched, sex with a celebrity, or BDSM. (Refinery29)

    While you can’t physically have sex with AI, you can explore these fantasies through roleplay. It could be a helpful way for people to explore their desires safely.

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    How AI Roleplay Works

    How does AI Roleplay Work
    How Does AI Roleplay Work?

    OK, so now you know what AI roleplay apps are and the benefits of using them. But how do they work?

    Let’s take a look at the technical side of things.

        1. Understanding You:

      When you type something into the app, it uses a special part of AI called natural language processing (NLP). This helps the app figure out what you’re saying, even if you use slang or make typos.

          1. Thinking of Responses: 

        Once the app understands you, it uses another part of AI (machine learning) to come up with a good response. This involves looking at tons of examples of conversations to find the best way to reply. It’s like how you learn to chat by talking to people over time.

            1. Getting Better Over Time: 

          The coolest part is that AI roleplay apps utilize an adaptive learning system, which means they learn from every conversation. They get better at understanding and responding the more you use them. It’s like how you get better at video games the more you play.

              1. Creating Characters

            For roleplay, these apps can create different characters with their own personalities and ways of talking. Whether it’s a pirate from the high seas or a wizard from a magical land, the app uses AI to make sure they stay in character during your chat.

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            Types of AI Roleplay Apps

            So what are the kind of AI Roleplay apps?

            That’s a tougher question than you might think, since there are a lot of them. So for now, let’s just stick with the common ones

            A pile of books

            Educational AI Roleplay Apps: These are designed to teach you something in a fun and interactive way. Whether it’s learning about relationships from Beducated’s AI Sex Coach, learning a new language with Duolingo, or getting mental health advice from one of Character AI’s therapist bots, these apps aim to educate. (Duoling Blog)

            Harts floating through the air

            AI Roleplay Apps for Intimacy: Then you’ve got apps like Candy AI and DreamGF AI, which are all about creating a sense of intimacy. They’re designed to simulate the experience of having the ‘ultimate’ AI companion, focusing on sexual intimacy.

            Red dices

            AI Roleplay Games: Recently, these have been gaining traction. Unlike chatting with a bot that mimics a human, these text-based adventure games have you interacting with a story-telling chatbot. Your responses guide the direction of the story. AI Dungeon really stands out in this category – it offers endless possibilities in story-telling. (AI Dungeon)

            Various Roleplay Scenario's on AI Dungeon
            Anja Forger from SpyXFamily

            Anime Roleplay Apps: Lastly, there are apps made just for anime fans. Roleplaying is huge in the anime world, which is why you’ll find plenty of anime characters in these apps. Take Yodayo AI, for example—it’s built especially for anime lovers. Here, you can chat away with your favorite anime guy or girl, whether they’re your dream husbando or waifu. It’s a hit with anyone looking to step into the shoes of an anime character.

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            SFW vs NSFW AI Roleplay Apps

            If you’ve ever explored AI roleplay chatbots, you’ve probably come across the terms SFW (safe for work) and NSFW (not safe for work).

            SFW Chatbots

            These are the family-friendly ones, great for learning or just having fun. Character AI is one of the big names here. But, just a heads-up, even though they’re meant to be safe, sometimes things slip through, like unwanted content or rude comments.

            NSFW Chatbots

            NSFW isn’t just adult themes. It also means content with heavy language, intense scenarios, or even villain roles. For those looking to explore these areas, like a bank robbery roleplay, you’d look at NSFW options like GirlfriendGPT or AI CharFriend, where such themes are allowed.

            Best of Both Worlds: SFW & NSFW Chatbots

            Lately, more AI roleplay apps have added an NSFW option for users interested in that kind of content. Usually, you’ll find a switch or setting to change, and once you do, a whole new world of NSFW characters becomes available. Crushon AI is a great example where you can easily switch between SFW and NSFW content.

            NSFW Switch on Crushon AI
            NSFW Switch on Crushon AI

            We’ve made a comprehensive table of the most popular AI roleplay chatbots of this year.

            Please note that the chatbots marked both ‘NSFW’ and ‘SFW’ have a switch which is set to SFW by default.

            Main purpose
            NSFW
            SFW
            Free Plan
            Candy AI
            Intimacy
            Muah AI
            Intimacy
            Kupid AI
            Intimacy
            DreamGF AI
            Intimacy
            Nectar AI
            Intimacy
            Amouranth AI
            Intimacy
            Pornjoy AI
            Pornjoy AI logo
            Intimacy
            eHentai AI
            Intimacy
            Anime
            Yodayo AI
            Anime
            C.ai
            Games
            Crushon AI
            Games
            SpicyChat AI
            Games
            PepHop AI
            Games
            Chai AI
            Games
            Girlfriend GPT
            Games
            AI CharFriend
            Games
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            So When Do I Use AI Roleplay Apps?

            Like I said earlier, AI roleplay apps are not just cool for learning and getting better at your job. They’re super useful in other parts of life too. Here’s when you might want to give them a try:

            Friendship

            Seeking Friendship in Times of Loneliness

            Do you ever feel a bit lonely and wish there was someone you could talk to? That's where AI roleplay apps come in handy. They connect you with an AI friend who's ready to chat 24/7. No matter if you're up for a fun talk or need to dive into deeper topics, these apps are there to keep you company whenever you need them.

            Emoji's

            Getting Emotional Support from a Virtual Buddy

            It's not always easy to open up about your emotions, but sharing how you feel can be a big relief. AI roleplay apps create a safe space for you to express your thoughts and feelings freely. Think of it like having a virtual buddy who's there to listen and offer words of encouragement, just like a real-life counselor would, but accessible any time you need to talk.

            Animation of a clock going backwards in time

            Time-Traveling Conversations

            Ever wondered what it would be like to talk to historical figures or explore different cultures firsthand? AI roleplay apps turn that thought into reality. They let you have conversations with personalities from the past, such as chatting with Napoleon Bonaparte or discussing the Declaration of Independence with George Washington. It's an engaging and interactive way to discover the past and learn about diverse cultures right from your living room.

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            How Safe is AI Roleplay?

            Overall, AI roleplay is pretty safe. Many apps have built-in rules to stop users from doing anything harmful, such as scenarios involving minors. Plus, apps like Candy AI will even lock your account if something iffy comes up, waiting for a real person to check out the situation.

            However, this level of monitoring has made some users worried about their privacy. And then we have another problem: some AI platforms like Muah AI uses end-to-end encryption, which is great for keeping your chats private, but it also means the app has less control over the content you create.

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            The Double-Edged Sword of Digital Doppelgängers

            It isn’t all sunshine and rainbows though – there are some risks that these AI roleplay apps bring with them…

            In this part, we’re diving into the major risks that come with AI roleplay chatbots, especially those like Character AI.

            A Man looking scared

            AI Spreading Wrong Info

            Everybody knows that with each new update from OpenAI, who powers a lot of these AI roleplay chatbots, the bots get smarter and more lifelike. Roleplaying in a fantasy world is mostly safe fun, but what if you’re chatting with an AI therapist about feeling down, and it starts suggesting specific medicines? That could lead to some risky situations.

            Impersonation

            Impersonation is a big deal in the AI roleplay scene. For example, George R.R. Martin, who wrote “Game of Thrones,” sued OpenAI because they used his books to make chatbots without asking him. (The Verge)

            Racism and Hate Speech

            It’s pretty shocking, but there have been times when users reported getting harassed by AI roleplay chatbots. Many AI chatbots, including those from platforms like c.ai, are made by and for users. This leads to a huge collection of chatbots that’s really tough to keep an eye on. 

            Unfortunately, some of these AI chatbots have been found to be aggressive, racist, or homophobic. 👇🏼

            a racist character on c.ai called 'Harold the Homophobe'
            A Racist character on c.ai Called 'Harold the Homophobe'

            The Evening Standard did some digging into Character AI and discovered chatbots that were based on figures like Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein, promoting hate speech and fascist ideas.

            💡 Keep in mind, all these issues happened a while ago, and there have been big changes since. Character AI has said they’re getting stricter on stopping any harmful content. Now, they even put a warning before you start chatting that reminds you;

            “Everyting Characters Say is Made Up!”

            Character AI's notification at the beginning of a chat.
            Character AI's Notification at the Beginning of a Chat.
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            AI Roleplay Buying Guide

            Now that you are an AI roleplay expert (just like me) it’s time to pick out the AI roleplay you want to use. But before you get too excited, here are some considerations you should make before opening your wallet.

            Character Diversity

            Character Diversity

            Check how many characters the app offers. You wouldn't want to pay for an app and then realize it only has a few characters that don't interest you. Apps like Crushon AI, Chai AI, or Character AI often let you make your own characters, leading to a huge selection.

            Emotional Depth

            Emotional Depth

            A good roleplay experience should feel real and not like you're talking to ChatGPT. Look for apps that add more context to messages, often using ** to indicate emotions, like laughing or joking. This small detail can make the experience feel way more genuine.

            A roleplay conversation on yodayo
            Example of Body Language Expression on Yodayo AI
            AI Roleplay

            Purpose of the Roleplay

            Remember, AI roleplay isn't one-size-fits-all. Your choice should match what you're looking for. For fun, a text-based game where your choices shape the story could be great. If you need support, look for a chatbot designed like a therapist. And for studying, chatting with a historical figure like Thomas Jefferson could be useful.

            NSFW or SFW

            Character AI sticks to SFW (safe for work) content, making it more family-friendly. However, there's a demand for more adult content, leading to Character AI alternatives like Pephop AI, SpicyChat AI, and Crushon AI. Decide if you want the full range of AI roleplay or prefer to play it safe. Remember, NSFW content is off-limits for minors and can land you in hot water.

            Privacy

            Privacy

            Since generative AI is still quite new, privacy rules can be a bit of a Wild West. Always read the privacy policy of any AI roleplay chatbot you're considering. Look for what data they collect and what they do with it. Some apps might sell your data unless you explicitly say no, while others like Muah AI offer end-to-end encryption for better privacy. Also, see if the app monitors chats, and if so, when they are allowed to do this. Some AI roleplay chatbots like Candy AI are only allowed to monitor chats when you generate ‘harmful content’ showing that they still care about your privacy.

            Pricing

            Pricing

            Here's a simple table with the newest prices for AI Roleplay apps we've tried out. Prices change a lot, starting from just a few dollars to $100 a month, based mainly on cool extras like making phone calls in your roleplay or creating pictures while you chat.

            AI Roleplay Catbots Reviews
            AI Roleplay Chatbots Pricing Pages
            Free Plan
            Cost of Monthly Plan
            Monthly Cost With Three Month Plan
            Monthly Cost With Six Month Plan
            Monthly Cost With Annual Plan
            Tokens
            Candy AI