Is Neuro-sama the future of entertainment? Her numbers suggest she’s on an upward trajectory.
As her name implies, Neuro-sama is essentially a neural network with a VTuber-style face. Her creator, who goes by the anonymous title Vedal, has steered their virtual creation to a substantial following on Twitch. On the vedal987 channel, Neuro-sama streams games like Minecraft, and her gameplay is strong enough that it doesn’t immediately give her away as an artificial intelligence. Her abilities are fascinating enough to draw more than 70,000 followers on Twitch.
How does Neuro-sama work? The AI’s creator doesn’t want to reveal too many details, because doing so could spawn a legion of copycats. According to Motherboard, the character has been in development since 2018, with the current VTuber version of Neuro-sama arriving in 2022. Her “brain” was constructed with the help of a large language model, which culls text from across the web.
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This is Neuro Sama, the first of it’s kind AI VTuber and streamer, which not only is playing the game by itself but also interacting with chat…
It requires moderation to keep in check but is constantly learning and getting better at both… holy pic.twitter.com/u4r3ALa9MN
— Jake Lucky (@JakeSucky) January 2, 2023
“I made her a Twitch streamer so that she can interact with her audience in real time. A lot of the fun comes from her interactions with Twitch chat,” Vedal told Motherboard. “I think the fans play an important role in her success and how fun her streams are. Having the interactions with Twitch chat are what makes her entertaining to watch, without that I don’t think she would be as successful.”
Internet oldsters will remember that the concept of an AI who interacts with humans via chat goes back more than two decades. SmarterChild, who amused her fans through AOL Instant Messenger, first debuted in 2000.
Of course, Neuro-sama is far more sophisticated than the chatbots of the aughts. Her VTuber avatar lends her an increased level of authenticity and helps her connect with her Twitch audience. She’s not the most popular VTuber in the world, but she could spawn a new subgenre within that exploding category.
In a recent podcast episode, creator Matthew ‘MatPat’ Patrick suggested that AI would be one of the defining online video trends of 2023. We’re not even a week into the year, but if Neuro-sama’s growing audience means anything, MatPat will be proven right sooner rather than later.