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Meet Pi AI: A Chatbot That's More Friend than Function

January 16, 2024

Magik Chance

Meet Pi AI: A Chatbot That's More Friend than Function

Pi AI is not just any chatbot: it wants to be your personal AI. Instead of performing tasks, Pi aims to get to know you so it can offer advice and be supportive. It has many positives that make it a rival for ChatGPT and Claude for your next AI assistant – let’s take a look!


A Simple Conversation


Instead of having multiple conversations with multiple topics like other AIs, Pi’s interface is based around a single chat. This makes chatting with Pi flow like a regular conversation, but if you want to be able to access specific information later, you may want to keep notes.


Though Pi claimed to me that it had access to the entire conversation, it was not good at recalling specifics and instead hallucinated what was said before. This lack of context window is disappointing and is the most significant downside to Pi currently.


The “Discover” sidebar contains suggestions of topics as well as activities you can do with Pi, such as “Brainstorm ideas,” “Practice a big conversation,” and “Coach me through a problem.” These do not start new conversations. Instead, they act as prompts to change the topic of the conversation in a set way.


Knowledge Cut Off


Pi has a surprising amount of knowledge about recent events. According to Pi:


“Rather than having a specific cut off date for my data, my training data is regularly updated to ensure that I have access to the most up-to-date information. However, my training data is not real-time, and there may be a lag between when information is published and when it's incorporated into my training data.”


Further questioning about specific recent events leads me to guess this “lag” is only a day, maybe two, which is extremely impressive.


Fully Voiced


Pi currently has six voices to choose from: 3 male and 3 female. The last two, Voice 5 and Voice 6, are pleasantly accented compared to the others. These AI voices do a relatively good job of acting as Pi’s voice, sounding natural down to the breath. They do sometimes pause in the wrong places or speak a little too fast for the context, but they are some of the best free AI voices I’ve heard.


There is the ability to speak back to Pi on the iOS app, but I have been unable to find a way to do so over the browser outside of dictation extensions. The iOS app's speaker function works very well though it does need time to think of its response and may sometimes misunderstand pauses in your speech as stops.


Inflection AI


Pi is made by Inflection AI. It is Inflection’s own LLM model and is not based on GPT or any others. 


Inflection AI is a Public Benefit Corporation. In its own words, this status “provides us with the legal mandate to prioritize the well-being and happiness of our users and wider stakeholders above all else.” (A "stakeholder" is someone who the business affects -- very different than a shareholder who owns stock in the business.)


This may explain why, unlike most popular AI models, Pi is currently completely free. I also have not discovered any rate limiting like with the free versions of GPT and Claude. Because of this, I have switched my journalling or plain "chatting" conversations to Pi, freeing up GPT and Claude for other things.


Inflection AI has trained an LLM model called “Inflection-2,” but as far as I have been able to tell, Pi still runs on “Inflection-1,” so I would keep an eye out for an upgrade soon.


Conclusion


If you are looking for advice or just an AI to talk to, I highly recommend Pi. The only true con I could find was its context window. Outside of being a forgetful friend, Pi is very pleasant to talk to and isn’t limited by price or message caps. Plus it's up-to-date on the news if you're dying to talk someone at 3am about the latest events.


If you’d like to give Pi a try, here's the link. Let me know what you think!

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