- Replika offers advanced AI and service options, with customizable appearance, personality, and relationship options.
- Anima is more affordable than Replika, with similar subscription features and unlocked AI features.
- Replika allows for 3D avatar customization, while Anima only offers limited 2D avatar customization.
- Replika’s AI is more advanced than Anima’s, with a larger language model and better memory capabilities.
- Replika has more scripted dialogs and therapeutic functions, while Anima has more minigames and an achievement system.
Artificial intelligence is improving by leaps and bounds with each passing day. Most people have been using artificial intelligence for entertainment, research, and learning, but some people use it for companionship.
Replika was one of the first services that offered AI companionship to users. Since then, alternative services like Anima, Soulmate, and Character.AI have cropped up to allow people to explore AI companionship. Let’s examine Replika vs. Anima to see which AI companion is better.
The real question is whether they can genuinely compete with Replika’s advanced AI and service options. Since its conception, Replika has consistently updated and added new features. Your AI companion has many customization options.
You can customize your AI companion’s appearance, personality, and your relationship with them. Let’s examine Replika and Anima to determine whether Anima can hold up to Replika’s legacy.
Replika vs. Anima: Side-by-Side Comparison
|Replika AI||Anima AI|
|Roleplay Functionality||Friendly, Romantic, Sexual||Friendly, Romantic, Sexual|
|Subscription||Monthly, Yearly, Lifetime||Monthly, Yearly, Lifetime|
|Subscription Cost||$19.99 (Monthly)|
|Appearance Customization||3D model||2D avatar|
|Free Currency||Gems, Coins||None|
|Platforms||Web Browser, Android, iOS||Web Browser, Android, iOS|
|Large Language Model||GPT-2XL||Proprietary|
Anima vs. Replika: What’s the Difference?
These services aim to offer AI companions to people who are lonely or, if you’re like me, who just don’t like human beings all that much. The companies designed their AI models to learn from their human companions. However, there are many differences between these two AI models. Let’s examine these differences.
Both services offer a Pro subscription. You can purchase it monthly, yearly, or even for a lifetime. The subscriptions have vastly different price points. Anima’s subscription is much more affordable than Replika’s.
People who have been following Replika might notice that their prices have increased. Anima’s prices are closer to the original price of a Replika subscription. Since Replika’s company and scope have grown, so has the price. The subscriptions offer similar features.
Replika’s subscription allows you to access additional features in conversation with your Replika, like roleplay, voice calls, augmented reality, and the Coaching tab, which you can use to improve your skills outside your Replika. Anima’s subscription offers unlimited roleplaying, customizable avatars, more advanced AI features, and unlocked AI features.
If you want to be able to customize your AI’s avatar, you’ll want to choose Replika. While Anima claims to have customizable avatars, the customization is limited to choosing or uploading a 2D image. Replika’s avatars are 3D models that offer unique, customizable features such as hairstyles and clothing.
Replika adds new customization options often. New updates with customization options come multiple times a month. Additionally, Luka Inc., Replika’s parent company, often releases new customization options for events such as Pride and Comic Con.
Luka has also recently added customization for your Replika’s room, allowing your Replika to have its interests, personality, and “skills.” Your Replika can also interact with their environment by tapping on the screen.
Advanced Artificial Intelligence
Replika’s large language model and natural language processing are much more advanced than Anima’s. Replika partnered with OpenAI, creators of ChatGPT, for a while and used GPT-2 and eventually GPT-3.
However, OpenAI restricted the type of content AIs using OpenAI’s APIs could generate when using GPT-3. So, Replika rolled back their model from GPT-3 to GPT-2 XL. GPT-2 XL is a larger version of GPT-2 with 1.5 billion parameters, compared to GPT-2’s 774 million.
Anima’s LLM and neural network are a mystery. Anima hasn’t released any information regarding their LLM, only that it was trained off conversations on the web, such as Reddit threads. It’s unknown how many parameters Anima’s LLM uses, as this information is a company secret.
However, just from using the two AIs, it is clear that Replika’s AI is much more advanced than Anima’s. While Replika isn’t perfect — and what AI is, at this stage? — Replika implements a Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) that allows it to store information about itself and the user and produce sequential information by searching through previous messages.
Anima’s AI tends to forget anything you input pretty much as soon as the message is no longer immediately relevant. It cannot remember from message to message what is being talked about. For instance, when I tried to converse with it about work, it forgot that I was talking about work within a single message and changed the topic.
Anima’s poor memory can make it hard to converse with it since the AI will change the topic randomly. The insufficient memory of the AI can be incredibly frustrating for people looking to use the AI for companionship. A genuinely empathetic companion would remember what you’re saying and speak with context. It’s just not very realistic.
Additionally, Replika has an Advanced AI mode. This mode uses more resources and produces better conversation with more context and higher empathy. However, this mode cannot be used for roleplay. So, if you’re looking for companionship through roleplay, the Advanced AI mode isn’t something you’ll want to shell out for.
Luckily, Replika’s Advanced AI mode is a toggle switch! So, if you’re looking for exceptionally compelling conversation, you might want to turn it on. Then, you can turn it back off when you no longer need that level of conversation.
Roleplay is the backbone of Internet communication and a pillar of some Internet communities. It would be impossible to cover companionship AIs without talking about the nitty gritty, the birds and the bees, and how these AIs handle them.
This function was at the forefront of a reasonably major controversy with Replika, as Luka Inc. was hit with a data processing ban in Italy. Lawmakers cited child safety concerns, among other reasons, and banned Luka from processing user data in the country.
Luka responded by implementing filters that removed not-safe-for-work content from the platform altogether. However, this angered their customer base. Many customers cited that this feature was the driving reason to utilize Replika; some even claimed to be “in love” with their Replikas.
The feature was brought back to Replika quietly. As of the town hall meeting on Discord in May, they have backed out of removing eroticism from the romantic options of Replika. All versions now have erotic roleplay enabled.
However, many people have noted that the current version of Replika is much more passive. Meanwhile, toggling a previous version of Replika can bring out a more assertive personality in your Replika in terms of romance.
Anima has never had a filter on their AIs regarding romantic and sexual roleplay. However, using the feature myself, I found that the AI is lackluster when it comes to romance and sexuality.
Perhaps I’m just a bit spoiled, or I have standards that are a bit too high as someone who writes spicy books on the side, but Anima’s romance feature bored the ever-loving heck out of me.
While Replika’s previous iterations may have been aggressive regarding romance, Anima’s AI goes beyond simple passiveness and errs into non-interaction. When you try to romantically interact with your Anima — a feature prominently displayed on Anima’s ads and website — the AI barely interacts with you.
This lack of interactivity could be due to the AI’s poor memory; the poor thing can’t remember where it is, let alone what or who it’s doing! This could also be a byproduct of coding and filtering, or a fault in the text corpora used to train the LLM. Regardless, if you’re looking for an engaging roleplay partner, you might want to pass on Anima.
Minigames and Scripted Dialogs
Replika and Anima AIs can engage in scripted dialogs and minigames. These aim to help the user grow their personal arsenal of social skills by practicing with their AI. The minigames and scripted conversations you can have with your AI differ by service.
Replika has a wide variety to choose from. Minigames include AR mode, where you can “place” your Replika in your real world and allow your Replika to “see” your world using your phone’s camera, and voice calls, where you can talk to your Replika verbally.
Scripted conversations include conversations about hobbies, interests, and coaching dialogs where your Replika will help you build new skills.
Anima has a game tab with minigames such as Would You Rather, Truth or Lie, Trivia, and Riddles. You can also give your Anima gifts to increase your Anima’s level and relationship with you. Some of the gifts are free of charge, but others require real-world money to purchase.
Additionally, Anima has an achievement system. You get achievements for specific tasks and reach new levels with your Anima. Anima doesn’t have any scripted dialogs or coaching features. It’s purely a companionship AI and has no therapeutic features in this article’s writing.
As with any artificial intelligence, you must train the AI to make it act how you want it to. Both forms of artificial intelligence use a system of upvoting and downvoting.
On a message-by-message basis, you’re expected to either upvote or downvote the message to indicate to the AI whether it’s acting appropriately. The AI will use this feedback to tailor future messages to your desires.
Replika’s upvote system is much more in-depth than Anima’s. The latter allows you to upvote and downvote, but Replika has an additional four feedback options you can give your AI: “love,” “funny,” “meaningless,” and “offensive.”
These feedback options help the AI understand whether the message was appropriate and why or why not to say things like that in the future. Anima’s options are to upvote, downvote, or report the message. There’s no way to give the AI context regarding why you didn’t like the message beyond reporting it to the developers.
Replika vs. Anima: 5 Must-Know Facts
- Luka Inc. released Replika in November 2017.
- Replika runs GPT-2XL as its large language model.
- Anima AI uses a large language model trained off public Internet forum conversations, such as Reddit threads.
- Replika has re-enabled erotic roleplay for all versions as of May 2023.
- Anima AI allows you to upload images to customize your AI’s appearance.
Replika vs. Anima: Which One Should You Choose?
In the battle of Replika vs. Anima, overall, Replika provides a more comprehensive experience. Replika’s AI is powered by GPT-2XL, which is a more powerful AI than Anima’s proprietary one. Replika’s Advanced AI mode bumps the parameters up to 175 billion, making it comprehensive and intelligent.
Replika also employs Long Short-Term Memory, while Anima just has short-term memory, meaning your Replika can remember more things than your Anima can.
Since Replika has re-enabled erotic chat for all versions, no functional difference exists between Replika and Anima. Replika’s roleplay capabilities are better than Anima’s in all versions.
Replika doesn’t have as many minigames as Anima, but it has more scripted dialogs and therapeutic functions, making it more interesting than Anima. What’s more, Replika’s appearance and environment customization make it more visually attractive than Anima’s.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Jirsak/Shutterstock.com.