Discord Hops on the ChatGPT Train, Announcing Several AI Features and a New ‘AI Incubator’

Photo credit: Courtesy of Discord

Despite Discord being one of the biggest AI hubs—with more than 30 million users utilizing AI apps on the platform each month—it has been somewhat absent within the wider AI conversation. Until now.

In a Mar. 8, 2023, press event, Anjney Midha, Discord’s Vice President of Platform Ecosystem, announced a number of new AI innovations the company is working on. Apart from providing a sneak preview of new AI features to come, including an Avatar remix and an AI whiteboard, Midha also formally announced three new experimental AI tools would be rolled out on a limited number of servers.

As if that wasn’t enough, Midha also officially launched the AI incubator to support Discord’s thriving AI community.

“Why is Discord becoming the home for AI? Simple: on Discord, you can enjoy AI with friends,” Midha said in a statement. “You can brainstorm together, create together, make memes together. It’s both entertainment and utility, fun and informative. And as a developer myself, what’s really exciting is seeing how teams and communities use our platform as their sandbox and build AI services directly on Discord.”

AutoMod AI in action, Photo credit: Discord

Clyde, AutoMod AI, and Conversation Summaries

Powered by OpenAI technology, Discord is overhauling its existing server bot, named Clyde, so users can have extensive conversations with it. Like any other Discord user, Clyde will be able to answer questions, use emojis, and even create new conversation threads and recommend Spotify playlists.

Additionally, Discord’s established AutoMod tool, which was originally introduced to help flag spam and slurs to server moderators, will also be expanded by artificial intelligence.

AutoMod AI will, as Midha puts it, harness “the power of large language models” from OpenAI in order to more accurately assess the “context” of a Discord conversation to determine whether there has been an intentional rule break.

Finally, for Discord users who feel FOMO after being inactive on a server for a little while, there’s no need for endless scrolling to try and catch up on what they missed. Instead, the new Conversation Summaries tool, which can be accessed in Discord’s “Server Settings,” will use OpenAI technology to analyze the conversations you missed and provide you with a paragraph summarising everything that went down.

It’s worth bearing in mind, however, that all three of these features are still in their experimental stage, and while they’re set to roll out from Mar. 13, 2023, they’ll only be available in a limited number of servers for now.

Conversation Summaries, Photo credit: Discord

Sneak previews

Amid all these new projects, Discord also gave us a glimpse even further into the future as they teased other AI tools that are still in the thick of their development stages. The Avatar Remix app, for example, will allow Discord users to “remix” their friends’ avatars with the power of generative image AI.

However, you’ll need to have some developing expertise to use the app—the code is currently available open source on GitHub, and experienced developers are welcome to tinker with it.

Secondly, a project that isn’t yet available for developers but was teased at the event was the long sought-after collaborative whiteboard, with the demonstration showing how the shared creative space will utilize text-to-image features. It’s unclear when the shared whiteboard will be rolled out, but it promises to make the collaborative experience of Discord better than ever.

AI Remix, Photo credit: Discord

AI incubator

With more than 10% of Discord users joining the app primarily to use AI, and Midjourney being the biggest server on the app with 13 million members, it’s clear that there’s a lot of talent in Discord’s artificial intelligence community. This is why Discord announced their first ecosystem fund last year, but now, they’re expanding this fund to include a dedicated “AI incubator.”

This involves a number of new dedicated resources for AI developers who have benefited from the ecosystem fund including office hours with Discord development teams, cloud compute credits for building and prototyping your services, and early access to Discord platform features.

“The opportunities for AI to enhance so many facets of human experience are endless, and we’re so excited to see what teams around the world come up with over the years to come,” Midha said during the press event. “So, if we can leave you with just three things today. … The first is that Discord is the home for AI experiences with friends. The second is that AI makes hanging out with friends on Discord more useful and fun. And third, Discord is the place where developers are building and distributing AI.”

Update 10:17am CT, Mar. 14: After the launch of these new AI features on the platform, Discord received criticism online for quietly changing its privacy policy to allow it to collect screen recording data and the contents of video and voice chats. On Mar. 13, 2023, Discord updated its blog post about the AI features, reversing the change in its privacy policy.

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