Autobiographer’s app makes use of AI that will help you inform your life story | TechCrunch


Can AI make it easier to inform your story? That’s the concept behind a startup known as Autobiographer, which leverages AI expertise to have interaction customers in significant conversations concerning the occasions of their lives and the way they felt about them, after which turns these into prose, successfully creating your individual autobiography.

The startup is dabbling in an space that’s been fraught with debate — many individuals have rebelled towards the concept AI might exchange artwork, writing and different inventive endeavors. However in Autobiographer’s case, the AI guides the consumer to inform their very own story, in their very own phrases, then organizes that into output that may be exported as a PDF, and maybe, at some point, certain and printed as properly. In different phrases, it really works extra as a collaborator relatively than the only creator.

The app could not exchange professionally handwritten tales, however it might function a option to doc household historical past or a friendship, or create a souvenir on your kids.

Autobiographer co-founder and CEO Matt Bowman sees the app as a option to depart behind a story for his godchildren. Earlier than working at Fb within the Bay Space, Bowman beforehand served within the Military Particular Forces, the place he was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. Because of this, he’s lived by way of losses which have formed his worldview.

“I have a bunch of great stories about my friends in the military — so many funny events, so many unique and amazing events — a lot of which we heard at the funerals for some of my best friends. Now it’s my job to figure out how to synthesize those and give them to my godchildren,” Bowman says. He desires them to have the ability to discover out extra about their dad, his life within the navy and what he was like as an individual.

“The technology has now come to a place where it’s possible to do this,” Bowman explains. “We can actually tell these stories, speak them verbally and then turn them into beautiful keepsakes that we can provide to those around us.”

Bowman teamed up with James Barnes, who had additionally labored at Fb by way of the 2016 and 2018 elections, the place he was notably one of many first folks to note the problems with the info harvesting scandal Cambridge Analytica — an occasion that led to his involvement in a number of subsequent depositions and subpoenas. He later left Fb to start out a Tremendous PAC to battle Trump. As he was taking part in round with OpenAI’s GPT-3, he discovered that synthetic intelligence might assist him course of the issues he had been by way of in his personal life, together with these milestones.

“Artificial intelligence had this incredible reflective capacity to see myself, my story and my events,” Barnes says.

Whereas Barnes and Bowman didn’t overlap at Fb, they met up final 12 months in San Francisco, as Barnes was searching for somebody with navy experience to assist the crew (which additionally consists of co-founders Luke Schoenfelder and Ivan Almaral) experiment with this concept of utilizing AI for storytelling. The 2 bonded over their shared targets and different experiences, together with their curiosity in psychedelic medication.

“Exploring consciousness was a key point of connection for us,” explains Barnes. “As we work on these really tangible things, we’re also able to think about the capacity of our platform to allow people to introspect and to do more abstract, personal work,” he says.

Picture Credit: Autobiographer

To make use of the app, you interact in conversations with an AI agent, constructed on Anthropic expertise, that prompts you to inform a narrative. As an example, the preliminary immediate could ask you to inform a narrative about an journey you had, reminding you there’s no proper or unsuitable reply. You can begin talking, pause and resume recording, or transfer on to a different query, when you favor.

The recollections are saved in a vault, a biometrically protected, encrypted house that even Autobiographer workers can’t entry.

“One of the most important values as James, Luke, Ivan and I came together, was the obvious understanding that no one’s going to tell their cherished memories or their very emotionally sensitive stories to something that is advertised — or that a bunch of engineers can see on the back end,” says Bowman.

The app allows you to revisit subjects, discover your recollections after which in the end flip them into several types of prose — like a brief story or a gratitude letter for a beloved one. For now, these are exported as PDFs, however the crew wish to provide a printed e book in some unspecified time in the future.

Autobiographer prices $199 per 12 months — cheaper than a ghostwriter, actually, but in addition costly sufficient to discourage some.

The corporate has now additionally partnered with journalist Katie Couric, who will function a promotional associate for the startup. Her function remains to be being outlined, nonetheless.

The corporate behind Autobiographer was based three and half years in the past, however has undergone a number of pivots. The newest model of the app, launching at present, was began a 12 months in the past.

Autobiographer is backed by $4 million in pre-seed funding from varied companies.

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