Discord Chatbots Clyde, AutoMod Get The Open AI Treatment

In big news for users of the group chat platform Discord, several of the service's ubiquitous apps, automated programs that can receive chats and respond to user requests, will be developed into Open AI-style chatbots capable of responding to phrases in ordinary speech and generating lifelike conversation.

AI is an essential topic for Discord. According to Anjney Midha, Discord's VP of Platform Ecosystem, more than 10 percent of new Discord users join the service specifically to interact with AI. Midha claims that AI art generator Midjourney has the largest and most active server on Discord, boasting over 13 million active users. SlashGear recently rated Midjourney as one of the most popular AI art generators.

The next step for Discord appears to be integrating chatbots into the social flow of the platform. Midha identifies a simple reason for AI's success on Discord: "on Discord you can enjoy AI with friends." While other tools like DALL-E operate as simple search engines, remixing databases of art (legally or otherwise), Discord implementing generative AI has the potential to open up new avenues for play and creative collaboration.

Your robot pal that's fun to be with

Per Discord's press release, AI on the service will start with three full-fledged experiments, plus two works in progress open to limited public interaction.

The three starting things are Clyde, AutoMod AI, and Conversation Summaries. Clyde is already a popular app on Discord, responding to console-style /slash commands and messaging users when they use an app or instruction incorrectly. For Clyde, implementing a conversational model in which users can ditch the console commands in favor of phrasing their requests in plain text clearly improves quality of life.

AutoMod is precisely what its name suggests — a convenient digital observer watching for common signs of bad behavior. By linking AutoMod with a large-language AI model, Discord hopes to give it a broader and more nuanced awareness of what is and isn't acceptable on a given server.

Finally, Conversation Summaries will give Discord users AI-generated digests of conversations they might have missed. Access to a large and self-improving language database will improve its accuracy.

Seeing the future, one emoji at a time

The two experiments Discord is making public go a bit further afield than the three others. The first is Avatar Remix, an app using Midjourney-style art shuffling to let friends on Discord play with one another's profile pictures. Avatar Remix will be open source, with the complete code available for free on GitHub.

The second opens up a different kind of collaborative creativity, in addition to answering a demand Discord users have been making since the service started. Whiteboard with AI is a whiteboard, finally allowing Discord users to collaborate in a neutral visual space rather than being limited to text, speech, and pre-existing images. The whiteboard will incorporate a text-to-visual generator, which is expected to improve as users continue to react and elaborate on its responses.

Finally, Discord will be opening AI Incubator, a dedicated fund and collaborative digital space for developers interested in working with AI. Discord will donate $5 million in grants to developers dedicated to AI and the Discord ecosystem.

AutoMod AI will go live on March 9, 2023. The Avatar Remix code will also be available via GitHub on that date. Clyde and Conversation Summaries are scheduled to follow in the coming weeks. As yet, there is no confirmed date for Whiteboard.