Autobiographer’s app uses AI to help you tell your life story

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Can AI assist you inform your story? That’s the thought behind a startup known as Autobiographer, which leverages AI expertise to have interaction customers in significant conversations in regards to 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 in opposition to the concept that AI may substitute artwork, writing and different inventive endeavors. However in Autobiographer’s case, the AI guides the person 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, in the future, sure and printed as effectively. In different phrases, it really works extra as a collaborator relatively than the only real creator.

The app might not substitute professionally handwritten tales, but it surely may function a strategy to doc household historical past or a friendship, or create a souvenir on your youngsters.

Autobiographer co-founder and CEO Matt Bowman sees the app as a strategy 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’ve a bunch of nice tales about my buddies within the navy — so many humorous occasions, so many distinctive and wonderful occasions — numerous which we heard on the funerals for a few of my finest buddies. Now it’s my job to determine easy methods to synthesize these and provides 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.

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“The expertise has now come to a spot the place it’s attainable to do that,” Bowman explains. “We are able to truly inform these tales, converse them verbally after which flip them into stunning keepsakes that we are able to present to these round 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 may assist him course of the issues he had been by way of in his personal life, together with these milestones.

“Synthetic intelligence had this unbelievable reflective capability to see myself, my story and my occasions,” 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 level of connection for us,” explains Barnes. “As we work on these actually tangible issues, we’re additionally in a position to consider the capability of our platform to permit folks to introspect and to do extra summary, private work,” he says.

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Picture Credit: Autobiographer

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

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

“One of the vital vital values as James, Luke, Ivan and I got here collectively, was the apparent understanding that nobody’s going to inform their cherished recollections or their very emotionally delicate tales to one thing that’s marketed — or {that a} bunch of engineers can see on the again finish,” says Bowman.

The app enables you to revisit matters, discover your recollections after which finally flip them into various kinds of prose — like a brief story or a gratitude letter for a cherished 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 accomplice 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 latest model of the app, launching in the present day, was began a 12 months in the past.

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

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