Discord delves deeper into the AI space with a new conversational AI named Clyde.
Clyde’s AI makeover was announced Thursday when the popular chat platform unveiled a broad collection of new AI tools and experiments, including an OpenAI-powered chatbot update.
You may not use Discord every day, if at all, but it’s become a popular destination for people who want group discussions on topics like gaming, pets, anime, coding, and other geeky pursuits. According to Discord, 150 million people chat on the service every month.
It has also become a major destination for AI content creation, with 30 million users experiencing AI apps on the platform each month, according to Discord.
While most people are now familiar with OpenAI’s DALL-E 2 AI image generation tool, Discord users have been creating images with Midjourney’s generative AI image generation tools for just as long. However, the difference in Discord is the community enhancement that revolves around AI content creation.
As Discord CEO Jason Citron explained on Tuesday, Discord offers: “AI at your fingertips, together.”
Next week, Discord is rolling out the OpenAI-enhanced Clyde as a free public experiment.
Like Bing’s new Chatbot, Clyde uses OpenAI’s large language model to start a conversation. You call Clyde, sign up to use him on your server and in your group, and then you can start asking Clyde questions in much the same way you would talk to ChatGPT.
The difference is that because Clyde works in the Discord chat environment, he needs to be aware of the dynamics of group discussions. Clyde won’t just join and interrupt a group chat, but a mention of it will allow Clyde to join. Clyde works like a real Discord member and can include GIFs and emojis in his comments (ChatGPT in Bing can use emojis, but not GIFs).
Clyde can look up information to settle a dispute or help with the group project. As with everything else on Discord, admins can easily disable Clyde.
While we’ve seen a lot of abuse of AI chatbots, Discord’s Citron preceded the announcements by reiterating how hard they work to make it all possible “in a safe and trusted environment.”
Other AI Experiments
In addition to chat, Discord is actively spreading AI capabilities across the platform, many of which are launching next week as limited experiments.
To help server moderators, Discord is enhancing its AutoMod tool, which already uses preset keywords to actively ban content from group chats with AI that takes proactive moderation one step further.
For example, if you’ve posted in your group chat that the group doesn’t allow self-promotion or off-core topics like sailboats, AutoMod AI can use that post to ban posts that circumvent these rules. It can do it even if the post is in another language.
Discord chats are often quite active and since no one can monitor them 24/7, Discord is adding a Conversations Summary Experiment. As the name suggests, it can read past Discord threads with a prompt to surface who was chatting, and the context of any messages.
For example, if someone asks you at the end of a long chat if you’re coming to “the event on Saturday”, you can ask the AI to recap the previous chat activity to find out what event they were talking about – and if you want to be there.
We also got a taste of some interesting AI tools, one focused on productivity and the other mainly pure whimsy.
There’s the Avatar Remix app, which lets you use a prompt to apply a generative image update to a group member’s avatar. Discord showed us how to easily add a birthday hat to one avatar image and a mustache to another. The effect is realistic and pretty clever. Obviously there is some concern here about image abuse, but at least the tool is only usable by people who have already signed up for your group.
Discord plans to post the open-source code on GitHub so developers can split, mix, and extend the Remix code.
There’s also a powerful-looking new integrated whiteboard with AI. It will be the first shared, real-time whiteboard space in Discord. Thanks to the AI integration, you can use simple sketches and text prompts to generate rich, expressive images. Discord claims that it can solve “the blank canvas syndrome” many people have with these AI image generation tools.
However, to try out any of these AIs, you’ll need to be on Discord. That means setting up an account, joining a server, and finding or setting up your own groups. It’s not difficult, but for the uninitiated, Discord can be overwhelming. However, these cool tools may inspire you to give it a try.