Yeah, of course, YC’s winter class is oozing with AI companies

Following the hype train isn’t always a bad thing

Being an artificial intelligence company has become the soup du jour of startup land. Companies are scrambling to either incorporate AI into their existing business model or change up their marketing so whatever they were already quietly using AI to do is front and center. Y Combinator’s latest class is no different.

Angel investor Gokul Rajaram tweeted recently that he had heard from a company in the latest YC cohort that half of the class was looking to use chatGPT. Now, with a letter circulating that asks AI researchers to pause development and with YC demo day next week, we decided to see if that checks out. Turns out, it’s not that far off.

Ninety-one startups, or 34%, of the current YC class list that they are an AI company or use AI in some kind of 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’s still striking when compared to past 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 usage brought the number to 44; both numbers hail from classes much larger than the current one, too.

This isn’t particularly surprising.