Twitch under fire for labeling VTubers as AI: “It’s really insulting”
Twitch has come under fire after a misguided tweet celebrating the achievements of VTubers in 2022 compared the virtual creators to artificial intelligence (AI), with many top talents labeling the wording as “insulting” and ignorant of the medium.
VTubing has taken off on Twitch, cracking into the top five tags on the platform in 2022. To show their respect for the virtual medium’s growth across the year, they put together a little video highlighting top creators and their work.
However the caption attached to the tweet has riled up VTubers, with the platform comparing the real creators behind the avatars to artificial intelligence.
“The VTuber tag brought both avatars and viewers together in one great space, with VTubers growing and creating AI like never before,” it read. “Oh, and some amazing characters and personalities came along with it.”
Many top VTubers on Twitch said the remark about VTubers “creating AI” was completely misrepresentative of the medium as a whole and showed ignorance on the platform’s side.
“Twitch I appreciate the love, but respectfully VTubing has nothing to do with AI at all,” VShojo Business Development Manager ‘Tomathin’ wrote in reply.
“We don’t create AI and we aren’t AI,” Techy continued. “We’re real time animated characters. We’re real people.”
“My character is a rogue artificial intelligence but I’m not related to any IRL AI stuff,” girl_dm_ added.
Some poked fun at the fact the tweet sounded like it was written by an AI itself: “Funny how it sounds like an AI with a vague understanding of VTubing wrote this,” Lord Aethelstan said. “Nice try buddy.”
The tweet, which went live on December 23 and has been viewed 1.6 million times, still remains live at the time of publishing. There are more than 3,000 quote tweets and replies criticizing Twitch’s wording as diminishing the work of one of its biggest user bases.
While it’s recognition for the space as a whole, VTubers just want to be accepted and acknowledged properly for their work, rather than have their achievements reduced to AI.
“AI art is hurting not just VTubers, but a lot of the talented artists that create and work with VTubers, so it’s really insulting and diminishing to mention it like this,” Tomathin said.
“Models take months of work from different people to act specific ways and do specific things for the personality behind it. If VTubers are AI because we use a software that has machine learning to track the face then I think that’s a diminishment of the space.”