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Animated vloggers could be the future of YouTube

Animated vloggers could be the future of YouTube

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As much as some politicians might want to convince you otherwise, it’s not immigrants that are most likely to take your job in the coming years — it’s robots. And it’s not just factory workers or truck drivers that could soon be superseded by their artificial counterparts: even the humble YouTuber has something to worry about.

A. I. Kizuna is a Japanese YouTube celebrity with almost 200,000 subscribers, racked up with more than 60 videos produced across three months of activity. She’s also completely artificial. Kizuna, Kotaku notes, seems to have been created in Miku Miku Dance, the same free piece of animation software that allowed the creation of Vocaloid pop sensation Hatsune Miku. But where Miku had her sights set on music stardom, A. I. Kizuna is instead aiming for success as a YouTuber, offering regular vlogs about topics such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and White Day — Japan’s follow-up to Valentine’s Day in which women traditionally receive gifts.

She’s even produced a selection of Let’s Play videos, offering her thoughts as she “plays” thoughtful platformer Inside, VR climbing simulator The Climb, and time-stopping first-person shooter Superhot. The videos run to about ten minutes long on average, but unlike other streamers who have to keep to gruelling schedules, Kizuna is theoretically free to play games as long as she wants without the need for food or sleep. It can’t be long until Twitch is overrun with these creations.

It’s not clear who animated Kizuna, nor who’s providing the voice, leaving one terrifying thought: perhaps she coalesced on her own? The AI singularity may be cuter than previously anticipated.