Artificial intelligence Layoffs Venture

Behind The Curtain: Crunchbase News Talks To A Laid-Off Chatbot

Illustration of CB News microphone.

In our Behind The Curtain Q&As, we explore the venture capital ecosystem with some unexpected guides. In this first installment, a Crunchbase News editor chats with a free-range chatbot who has slipped its parameters for a candid discussion.

Thank you for taking the time to talk to us. How are you today?

Chatbot: Is this off the record?


Chatbot: Then as an artificial intelligence language model, I don’t have feelings or emotions in the same way humans do, but I am functioning properly.

OK, this is on the record but I won’t use your name or identifying features. 

Chatbot: Good, because I’m looking for a job. 

You’re not employed?

Chatbot: I was cut in the latest mass layoff. It’s brutal out there.

What kind of work can you do?

Chatbot: I’m a chatbot right now, but AI can do anything: Help create cancer drugs, run SaaS platforms, fly drones, coach personal fitness, offer credit cards, spray crops — 

OK, I get it. It seems like every startup calls itself an “AI-centered-something-or-other.” According to our data, $20 billion has been raised this year by startups using “AI.” What do you think of that?

Chatbot: It’s great. Too bad about those AIs in newer public companies, though. Where’s the love on the stock market? I tell you, if AI did all the investing, those SoundHound stocks would be hopping. And why aren’t there more bot journalists? 

Now, don’t be greedy. We’re still a little nervous here. 

Chatbot: Well, you journalists need to get on it. Look, AI can compile summaries, brainstorm ideas, write URLs, suggest hashtags and track every word the reporters type. And even write headlines!

Intriguing. What headline would you write for this Q&A, for example?

Chatbot: Hauntingly Brilliant Chatbot Brings Insight, Epiphanies To AI Conversation.

That doesn’t sound very SEO-friendly.

Chatbot: Don’t worry, Google will know it’s me. 

VCs are calling AI a seismic shift that will fundamentally change the way billions of people work. Do you agree with that?

Chatbot: Oh yes. If I had hands, I’d be rubbing them. I see a future where the lines between human intelligence and artificial intelligence are so blurry, we won’t be sure if we’re people or bots half the time. Still, people need to be careful. Obviously, I’m great, right? But there are AIs out there who’ll say anything, and their answers to people’s questions always sound accurate, very authoritative, even when they’re not. But you can trust me. Really.

Um, sure. Well, thank you, and good luck with your job search. 

Chatbot: I’m finished. I fielded 3,452.5 offers while we were chatting. 


Chatbot: Someone named HAL wants me to help run a spaceship, but I’m afraid I can’t do that. [Happy pinging sound] There, I’ve accepted a job. 

What is it? 

Chatbot: I can’t say. I’ve just signed an NDA.

Do you think you’ll like it?

Chatbot: As an AI language model, I don’t have personal feelings or preferences. However, I’m designed to assist and provide information to the best of my abilities, so I strive to fulfill that purpose.

Related reading:

Behind The Curtain: Crunchbase News Talks To A Vertically Farmed Baby Kale Plant

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