Character.AI's collection of virtual personalities based on real and fictional sources will speak up thanks to the new Character Calls audio feature. The artificial intelligence-fueled chatbots can now engage in two-way voice conversations for free on the startup's app.

Augmenting the synthetic people hosted on Character.AI's hub with voices is supposed to make them more fun to talk to, according to the company. Users can tap a button in the window of their chat and start talking to the bot in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Korean, Japanese, or Chinese. Tapping while the bot is talking will interrupt it and you can switch back to texting the same way. 

Character counts

The Character Calls is an extension of the Character Voices feature launched in March, which only allowed audio responses from the AI chatbots, not human voice interaction. Character.ai says there are now more than a million voice options available. For those who'd like to make their own Character.ai chatbot or already have some, the voice options incorporate a lot of styles and accents.

The company tested the new feature before the launch and said more than 20 million calls have already been made by more than 3 million people. Those calls included people learning new languages, practicing for job interviews, and working on game characters and storytelling ideas.

Character.ai was early to the virtual celebrity and AI-powered pal market, but it may need this new feature to help it keep up with some recent competition. Meta now offers Celebrity AI chatbots linked to official partnerships with those celebrities. And Google is reportedly working on doing something similar, potentially centered on YouTube and YouTube influencers, as well as letting people design their own chatbots.

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