Neuro-sama is a Twitch VTuber who enjoys playing Minecraft as well as the rhythm game Osu! However, unlike most anime avatars, she is controlled by an AI computer rather than a human. That makes her an easy target for Twitch chat users, who can urge her to respond with questions ranging from innocent inquiries to 4chan trolling. Someone had already asked Neuro-sama about the Holocaust in the first few transmissions. “I’m not sure if I believe it,” she said.
“The controversial things she says are because she tries to make witty and comical remarks about whatever is said in chat; aligning AIs with human values is an ongoing area of research,” Neuro-sama’s creator, a game programmer named Vedal, told Kotaku. “To counter this, I’ve worked hard since the first few streams to improve the strength of the filters used for her.” The data that she learns is also manually curated to mitigate negative biases. “We now also have a team of people moderating Twitch chat who check everything she says.”
Neuro-Sama isn’t Vedal’s first artificial intelligence. In reality, she was built years ago with the sole goal of learning to play Osu!, a long-running free-to-play rhythm game in which you click shapes on a screen to the beat of anime music. While the meetings were also webcast, no avatar or interactive personality was present. Following last year’s influx of big-name VTubers, Neuro-sama expands on the original project’s Osu! talents with a fully voiced Twitch performance that can riff with the audience.
Vedal told the gaming website that the VTuber’s filters have been changed to make her less likely to respond in that manner after her edgy statements made Neuro-sama something of an infamous meme in AI-hating circles. “She picks what to respond to within a limited window,” Vedal told Kotaku. “However, it should be noted that she will not talk about the Holocaust as the filters have been improved.”