Following the hype train isn’t always a bad thing
Being artificial intelligence company has become the soup du jour of startup country. Companies are rushing to incorporate AI into their existing business model or change their marketing, so everything they were already quietly using AI for is front and center. The newest class of Y Combinator is no different.
Angel investor Gokul Rajaram tweeted he had recently heard of a company in the last YC cohort that half the class wanted to use chatGPT. With a letter circulating asking AI researchers to pause development and with YC Demo Day next week, we’ve decided to see if that’s true. Turns out it’s not that far off.
Ninety-one startups, or 34%, of the current YC class indicate they are an AI company or use AI in some way, according to the accelerator’s handy online database. If you narrow that down to generative AI, you get 54 or 20%. While not quite half, it is still striking when compared to previous cohorts. In previous years, the highest number of companies using generative AI in a single YC class was nine, and a count of more general AI use put the number at 44; both numbers also come from classes much larger than the current ones.
This is not particularly surprising.