For a period, a few years ago, there was much discussion of virtual influencer, a decidedly unimaginative name used to indicate those social profiles that show non-existent characters, but which still manage to generate interest (in terms of followers) and a real market. A practice that has evolved over the years, also landing on Twitch, a platform where it is not uncommon to come across virtual streamers. For example every day, between 19:00 and 24:00 Italian, you can connect to the Neuro-sama Twitch channela virtual streamer who spends time playing Minecraft and interacting with the chat.
A phenomenon from oltre 50.000 followers, obviously real, who witness an artificial intelligence that behaves like a human. As well as the majority of V-tuber – yes, that’s what they call them in America – Neuro-sama appears as a Japanese anime-style character.
V-Tubers and virtual streamers: a phenomenon that is rampant on Twitch
“Machine men, with machines instead of brains and hearts. You are not machines, you are not beasts, you are men”
Charlie Chaplin in the famous speech of The Great Dictator
V-tubers have been a steadily growing phenomenon in recent years. Just think of the success of Kizuna AIa Japanese virtual YouTuber who sings and messages her friends over 3 million subscribers. However, Neuro-sama seems to have more advanced features, managing to interact in an absolutely credible way with the chat.
Not only that, like many real users on Twitch, Neuro-sama often streams video games like Minecraft and osu!, a rhythm game that is especially popular in Japan. In this game you even beat the world champion, although you are not allowed, for obvious reasons, to compete in dedicated export tournaments. A story that is very reminiscent of the famous chess match between the supercomputer Deep Blue and the champion Garry Kasparov. But those were different times.
How Neuro-sama’s language works
Like many modern AI-based chatbots, Neuro-sama uses predictive models of speech, drawing on a huge database of expressions, all taken freely from the web. A complex system which, however, is far from perfect. Since the internet is definitely not the healthiest place in the world, many of the expressions that end up in the AI database are in fact full of racist and sexist stereotypes. Phrases and expressions that Twitch obviously does not tolerate on its platform.
To function properly, therefore, Neuro-sama has its back a moderation team both incoming and outgoing (which therefore also moderates the AI itself). “There are obviously a lot of filters in place to prevent her responses from being inappropriate or offensive,” explained its creator Vedal, who brought Neuro-sama to life in 2018.