If you've been following along with the latest in streamer news, you'll have noticed a rise in AI streamers and AI streaming, in general, that's been cropping up more and more and more in recent days. Accordingly, many are wondering if AI streaming is going to become the next big thing and maybe even replace regular human streamers one day.
Not to worry, because in this article, we'll tell you whether AI streamers are going to replace humans.
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What Are AI Streamers?
First off, if you're looking for a basic explanation of what's meant by AI, check out our explainer here. Secondly, it's worth understanding that the AI streamer content out there isn't necessarily a full-blown AI setup capable of hyper-complex, deep interactions bordering on sentience, either.
Nonetheless, here's what's going on. Essentially, it began with VTubers. A VTuber is an online personality that uses a virtual avatar rather than their real face and image. VTubers have only gotten more and more popular as the years go on, and today, it's a relatively mainstream, common thing.
Then, we got AI VTubers. Essentially the same concept, virtual avatar reacting to videos, talking to chat, etcetera, but there wasn't an actual, real person behind-the-scenes voicing everything, doing the reactions, and whatnot. Naturally, this kind of AI (or perhaps machine learning) isn't necessarily that advanced, but it was advanced enough for AI VTubers to be able to react to videos and interact with chat.
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More recently, we've seen AI channels of different sorts, like the popular AI Seinfeld channel that was recently suspended off Twitch. This channel would generate, on demand, parody Seinfeld episodes 24/7 via ChatGPT-esque functionality under the hood. People would watch for the surreal silliness of it all until it got banned after making what some called offensive jokes.
Most recently, the streamer Athene made headlines by bringing AI versions of popular streamers onto his show, showing off how similarly to AI VTubers it's possible to take actual streamers and have AI representations of them hold conversations, interact with chat, and the like.
So, the question becomes: is AI going to replace actual human streamers anytime soon?
Are AI Streamers Replacing Humans Anytime Soon?
The answer here is no, probably not, and probably never.
The thing about streaming is that, even more so than YouTube content or traditional shows and movies, streaming is a lot more about the personality of the streamer at hand and the viewer getting a real look into the mind of a particular streamer.
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Of course, as AI gets more advanced, voices will become even more similar to the real thing and you won't see the visual artifacts you could on Athene's AI streamers, but nonetheless, it's pretty unlikely that even if they were more advanced that they would replace actual streamers.
Streaming, generally, is already fairly low-intensity content. It's different from highly edited and scripted content you see on YouTube in that it's much more about cultivating a vibe and interacting with your community, and the only real reason a community forms or people tune in to watch a streamer is that they're fans of a particular person, not necessarily that they just love the content on offer much more than anything else.
Considering all of the above, it seems rather unlikely we'll see AI versions of popular streamers actually replace the real thing; however, it does seem likely that AI content will be popular on streaming sites for the foreseeable future. Simply put, it's just quite entertaining watching a streamer you know react to an AI version of themself, and curiosities like the AI parody Seinfeld show hit that sweet spot of just weird enough to have to see in action.
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What Does Future AI Streaming Content Look Like?
Of course, nobody can predict the future, but there are definitely some things that are more likely than others.
Interacting with chatbots, talking with AI versions of streamers, or watching AI-generated clips of people saying or doing funny things is likely a form of streaming content that's only going to get more and more popular as AI gets more and more capable.
It's not hard to envision a future where AI Asmongold talking to AI Hasan Abi can quickly rack up thousands of viewers live just to see how the two personalities get along and what it's like watching two AIs chat with one another, even if behind the scenes nothing is particularly advanced beyond the relatively basic ability to hold a conversation.
We wouldn't expect major streamers to simply start throwing up an AI version of themselves for their normal streams anytime soon, but interacting and engaging with AI content is routinely proving to be a popular form of content for viewers and streamers around the world.
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Naturally, we'll have to wait and see how things shake out, and there's no doubt that the tech-savvy required in getting AIs set up on stream will be a barrier to entry, at least at first, but in all likelihood, we'd expect to see more and more AI content on streaming sites as time goes on.