Discord is adding AI to its platform in the form of ChatGPT and generative art, which will manifest as a chatbot and options to manage chats and create custom avatar profiles.
Discord plans to launch a public chatbot powered by ChatGPT called “Clyde” starting next week, along with new technology for summarizing Discord chats in a sidebar, called conversation summaries. This Friday, Discord will update its AutoMod auto-moderation bot to include AI-powered moderation, examining the content of moderated chats to determine if a server’s rules are being followed. All three are considered public experiments, with additional releases updated later.
Discord also showed early progress on two new features it hopes to add later: the ability to “remix” Discord avatars, as well as an updated real-time whiteboard feature that can take sketches and transform them into AI generative art, via through notice. .
It might seem like most apps are hastily adding AI to their core features, though Discord was at the forefront from the start. Midjourney’s AI art generator uses Discord as its only user interface, in part because Midjourney CEO David Holz led a self-funded team and didn’t have the time or resources to invest in a user interface or a social media model, he said during a briefing. Discord revealed that Midjourney has 13 million subscribers as of March 2023. Slack, a rival to Discord in the productivity space, also announced an AI-powered chatbot, and Google and Microsoft have already launched their own AI-powered search o they plan to do it.
Discord’s first chatbot, Clyde, will eventually be available site-wide, in both public and private channels, as well as direct messages, according to Prachi Gupta, Discord’s vice president of engineering. In a demo, Gupta showed how he’ll use Clyde: directing him through “@clyde” in a text chat, which will open a small text message button. He will be able to ask Clyde for his own private consultations or use Clyde in a public setting to provide advice and answer questions. Clyde will also have access to Discord’s tools, so he can also suggest GIFs and emojis. Clyde can also be disabled by a channel manager.
(Discord also showcased the work of a partner, Anthropic, who uses a similar-sounding AI chatbot named Claude.)
ChatGPT will also be used to increase Discord’s AutoMod capability. Like Clyde, AutoMod has been around for some time, filtering obscenities and performing other filtering functions. What ChatGPT will do is allow AutoMod to interpret and apply the various rules that administrators have set for various servers and groups, understand and apply them. In a demo, Gupta showed how a group dedicated to hamsters could flag posts promoting other social media channels (a no-no, according to the group’s rules), as well as look for deliberate misspellings to avoid moderation bans.
Filters are sometimes not enough. An AI-powered AutoMod can also consider intent as a moderation tool, Gupta added. “For example…asking about the ‘leading cause of death in hamsters’ is not the same as another malicious user stating ‘the death of hamsters,’” she said.
The chat summary feature is somewhat similar to Otter.ai’s OtterPilot, a new feature in Otter’s transcription tool that transcribes, summarizes, and annotates a meeting, with links to relevant parts. If you’ve used ChatGPT, you may also know that it breaks down individual conversations by topic. Discord’s new conversation summary feature does something similar, marking a change in the conversation topic with a link to the relevant exchange.
Eventually, you’ll be able to use generative AI to produce art that can be applied to Discord. You’ll be able to “remix” your own avatar (or someone else’s, which sounds a bit weird) using AI art to add a mustache, party hat, or some other feature. You’ll also be able to use image-to-image AI art (where an image or sketch you provide can be used as a model for something else) to take a sketch and re-imagine it as an AI-generated piece of art.
Discord has 150 million users per month, CEO Jason Citron said. “Right now we are looking at one of the most exciting times in the emergence of technology and it has the power and potential to truly transform the way we learn, how we communicate, how we express creativity, how we have fun with people in our lives”. he said. “Harnessed properly, AI can fundamentally enhance and empower the genuine human experience and connection. That’s why Discord is the home of AI experiences with friends.”