Nothing foreveran AI powered Seinfeld spoof show on Twitch, quickly became the next big thing on the platform. During the always-on stream, a cast of Seinfeld-Adjoining characters engaged in confusing conversations, cracked jokes, and moved through a world of crude, blocky graphics, all backed by a laugh track and directed by AI.
But then it was suspended for two weeks after the Jerry Seinfeld-esque character made transphobic comments. That suspension will be lifted on Monday, and while the creators of Mismatch Media have worked to ensure transphobic comments won’t happen again, they can’t guarantee it.
The transphobic comments came after Mismatch changed the AI models that support the stream. “We began to experience an outage using OpenAI’s GPT-3 Davinci model, causing the show to exhibit erroneous behavior,” said an announcement in the Nothing forever Disagreement. “OpenAI has a less sophisticated model, Curie, which was the predecessor of Davinci. When Davinci started to fail, we switched to Curie to try and keep the show going without any downtime. The switch to Curie caused the inappropriate text to be generated.”
In a later post, Mismatch added that “we mistakenly believed we were using OpenAI’s content moderation system for their text generation models” and that it would work to implement OpenAI’s content moderation API before the show went live again .
“Of course, with software there is always variation”
Since then, Mismatch has run stability tests against that implementation and made sure there are no false negatives, Mismatch co-founder Skyler Hartle said in an interview with The edge. “So far it looks really good,” he said. But then he hedged and said that “of course, with software, there’s always variability.” I asked Hartle how Mismatch makes the guardrails work. “I think there is an inherent uncertainty in the space of generative AI and generative media.”
He was referring to many of the wild things people have already been able to say to ChatGPT and the new Bing AI chatbot: “I think everyone in this space should be concerned and thinking about this.” Mismatch Media is addressing this by creating an AI “security council slash team,” Hartle said, trying to come up with mitigation strategies so AI security measures can evolve alongside generative AI pieces. “We feel very strongly that it is our duty as humans in the generative space to do this as safely as possible.”
In addition to using the official OpenAI API for content moderation, Mismatch also wants to use OpenAI to help in the moderation process. “We’re working on creating guardrails that actually use OpenAI to pass our content to them and ask a series of questions and prompts,” Hartle said. Mismatch is “figuring out the right ways to have OpenAI and these big language models help moderate that process. These models are currently the best at parsing natural language, so it makes sense to use them as a secondary system as well.”
Hartle does not expect the tone Nothing forever change with the additional content moderation systems. That probably means we’ll continue to see the show continue to create more bizarre and irreverent moments, but hopefully there’s no transphobia this time around.
Hartle wants to introduce a public interaction system
Hartle also said that Mismatch wants to introduce an audience interaction system it previously built, but decided not to co-launch Nothing forever. The system “allows fans to interact with the show safely and potentially massage the direction the show is going in while still maintaining the generative spirit,” Hartle said. Mismatch hopes to launch the system alongside the lifting of the Twitch suspension, but he “wouldn’t make any promises at this point.”
Personally, I’m skeptical of a public interaction tool in an application like this. While it could be used in a grand moment of internet unity like the TwitchPlaysPokemon heyday, I’m afraid it’s going to be something like the Tay fiasco.
Past Nothing forever, Mismatch Media wants to build a platform on which creators can create their own shows. “There’s a lot involved, and we’re figuring out a lot and iterating, but the plan is to enable, like the next generation of people, to do this kind of thing,” Hartle said. The aim is to get this platform operational within six to twelve months.
I also asked Hartle something I’ve been wondering since I first saw the show: Is the plan actually to keep it running forever? “Our hope is to run the show for as long as it makes economic sense to do so because it’s very expensive,” Hartle said. “But having said that, we’re building this out as a technology platform. And we want to make more of the shows. If we succeed in that and we can build a business around us, I see no reason why Nothing forever shouldn’t run as long as the fans and community want it to run.