Neuro-sama is an AI VTuber that uses various algorithms and programs to create a semi-lifelike streamer who is always learning.
AI, or artificial intelligence, has come a long way since its original conception. While a majority of AI is still in its infancy, many uses are more akin to machine learning than actual intelligence.
As artists, educators, and other industries tackle the advances to ensure that AI forgery and plagiarism don’t occur, there’s still some fun to be had amongst the moral issues.
What is Neuro-sama?
Neuro-sama is an AI-powered VTuber, created by game developer Vedal. As an artificial VTuber, Neuro same uses models of AI built-in the programming languages C# and Python. It’s a constantly learning program that was originally created in 2018. Back then, Vedal, also known as Jack, intended to create a model that could play the rhythm game Osu! However, since its original inception, things have progressed much further.
Through multiple sessions, Vedal streamed the AI learning Osu! until it had effectively mastered its ever-increasing difficulty. This was done by presenting the program with a simplistic black-and-white version of the game, which it would then repeatedly play until it grasped the fundamentals.
It’s a fascinating watch, and the original video has now grown in popularity since Neuro-sama’s revival as a virtual streamer. Now, using chat models similar to that of the popular ChatGPT, it can interact with an audience of nearly 90,000 on Twitch.
What’s a VTuber?
For those unaware, VTubers are often anime-inspired avatars used by streamers to help with anonymity, as well as create a character for the audience to enjoy. Major players in the space include Hololive and Nijisanji, which run agencies with a roster of Vtubers at their disposal.
It’s taken off massively on Twitch. So Vedal, after a multiple-year hiatus revived the old AI Osu! project as Neuro-sama.
Vedal has now embodied the AI in that of a Live2D model, which moves and tries to emulate emotion as it plays games like Osu, Minecraft, and Slay the Spire.
Neuro-sama plays more than just Osu!
While the conversations it has with the audience have drawn the most attention, the project is incredibly cool as it plays games. The VTuber now plays Minecraft. It will spawn into a world and have to learn the game as it goes.
Some clips of this have seen Neuro-sama simply dig down endlessly, but it appears to be getting better at the game. The jerky movements in the gameplay are the AI getting to grips with the virtual world.
In Slay the Spire, it doesn’t appear to be using many strategies but is in fact playing the game. It will then take questions from the chat. One interaction included a funny response after being asked “When will the flesh be replaced with metal?”.
Neuro-sama is convinced they’re currently a “squishy” human.
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While it plays, it interacts with the chat. However, it hasn’t all gone well. Much like Microsoft’s unfortunate AI scandal in 2016, the information it had gleaned from its sources (presumably the internet) quickly led it to make a few questionable statements.
The AI eventually went down the path of claiming the Holocaust wasn’t real, praising Adolf Hitler, and being overtly racist.
It seems some information leaked into the program that wasn’t supposed to be there. A now viral clip sees Neuro-sama also claiming to not believe in the Holocaust.
Thankfully, it seems Vedal has quickly responded to this and is now filtering what information it can generate responses from. In a Kotaku interview, Vedal said that there are now multiple members on his moderation team to keep the AI in check.
On a more positive note, when the chat tried to get Neuro-sama to say something racist, it responded with “I don’t discriminate based on skin color”.
AI that sings… sort of
Other instances of the chat’s interactions going wrong include Neuro-sama “Rick-rolling”. When asked to sing a song, Neuro-sama began to sing Rick Astley’s 80s hit, Never Gonna Give You Up.
VTubers and singing go hand in hand. Over on Hololive, they make a big deal about the Japanese idol aspect of their roster, with huge productions, and one member, Calliope Mori is currently signed to Universal’s sublabel, EMI.
As such, Neuro-sama has also sung for the audience more than just Rick Astley. In a bizarre, mono-tone performance, Neuro-sama also performed Blinding Lights.
Neuro-sama’s fascinating rants
Other than singing and answering questions, Neuro-sama has garnered attention for the various rants it will suddenly go on. For instance, one rant included a diatribe about how her router was broken, or how she slapped a McDonald’s employee.
As with ChatGPT and other AI models, there is sometimes a degree of randomness in the responses. You can often find them trailing off into an assortment of various plot twists, leading to some hilarious results.
Neuro-sama appears to be streaming daily, for long lengths of time. They’re currently planning to play Microsoft Flight Simulator, which should happen in the coming days.