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How Platforms are Integrating AI
Early product innovations leveraging AI/LLMs at Discord, Roblox, Unity, and Instacart among others.
Discord powering bots, conversation summaries, and an AI enabled developer platform overlaid on Discord.
Roblox and Unity are integrating text input to facilitate faster and easier game/experience development.
Instacart is integrating a ChatGPT plugin to enable consumers to order items from AI generated recipes.
Other OpenAI integrations from Air India to Expedia are rolling out as companies try to find their way and innovate.
The VC community at large is spraying and praying on everything AI and from where I stand there’s no clear trends on which subsection of the next gen of AI companies will be winners (thankfully I have colleagues like Pauline Yang, Clark Tang, and Gwen Umbach trying to figure that out.) What interests me most is how existing companies are leveraging AI/ML whether it’s in-house (Roblox) or using APIs (Discord). What follows are some promising early product announcements from big platforms involving AI/LLMs.
Discord: Super Powering Bots and improving consumption efficiency
Discord has been on the cutting edge of technology since founding, and a lot of that can be traced to having a strong technical founder in Jason Citron. They relentlessly iterate on product and features and it’s so surprise that they recently announced a slew of AI-enabled product improvements and features.
Clyde (the default robot helper within Discord) is becoming AI-enabled using OpenAI. Clyde will be able to answer questions and have conversations and it’ll be natively integrated into the product.
AutoMod AI will now utilize LLMs to assist moderators with finding, alerting, and resolving issues with users breaking server rules. AutoMod was originally released last year to help block spam messages (thanks crypto).
Conversation Summaries will be AI-generated summaries of a bundled stream of messages from when you’re AFK from a server. There’s nothing more painful than returning to a server to see you’ve missed 500 messages and you have no clue or context for where things were left.
AI Prototypes / Explorations
As Discord continues to transform from just chat client to fully fledged communication platform they wanted to demonstrate how developers can create AI enabled plug-ins and they’re releasing a few examples:
Avatar Remix is being open sourced on Github and is a way for friends to remix images/avatars/profile pictures using generative image models.
Whiteboard with AI Preview has been a requested feature for years and they’re working on a shared visual space to collaborate with friends/colleagues. Most interesting is the integration of AI-powered text-to-image generation.
A $5m Discord AI Incubator and dedicated resources for developers who want to build AI on the Discord platform.
Roblox: Generative AI Powering Creators
Different that most peers, Roblox is intensely dedicated to doing most engineering in-house (and who can blame them when you have Chief Scientist Morgan McGuire and CTO Daniel Sturman and the rest of the Roblox Research team)
Easier Creation on Platform
Roblox views Generative AI as enabling every user to be a creator the community being a “force-multiplier” on top of AI for ecosystem growth. Some of the AI integrations they’ve discussed in blogs and investor events include:
Creation of shirts/hats/entire avatars from within an experience as opposed to using the Roblox Studio
Reduction of reliance on Lua source code for experience creation as generative AI can supplant coding by hand. (aka you don’t need to be an expert in Lua to create ever-more-complex experiences)
Ability to generate integrated 3D objects that come with behavior built-in.
Unity: TBD but Easier Content Creation and AI plugin Marketplace
It’s a no brainer that Unity will integrate AI into it’s game engine and although the company has been short on specific details, they’re currently accepting applications for their AI Beta program
I would guess that it’ll look very similar to what Roblox is doing in their examples. Text and possibly image input into the engine can dramatically ease the complexity in the future to develop games vs a requirement today to learn C#.
The shorter term solution Unity is looking to integrate is an AI plugin marketplace.
Instacart: ChatGPT Plugin Integration to Order Recipe Items
It’s a simpler integration to start, but if you look around the corner the possibilities are significant. Imagine an LLM that has access to all your preferred ordering and recipe history that can recommend a set of recipe’s for the week and automatically populate your Instacart order for the week. It would immediately save our family the hour per week that we spend planning our dinners for the week and populating our grocery list.
A Laundry List of Other AI Integrations
Among several other leisure companies, Air India announced an intention to integrate ChatGPT 4.0 into their website. Customer service is an obvious first step for consumer heavy leisure companies
Expedia is integrating their data with OpenAI to enable trip planning using ChatGPT which will then refer users to the Expedia family of companies for actual booking.
Who may be structurally challenged?
Web 1.0 informational websites like TripAdvisor have a trove of user information but an unclear path forward to monetizing it in a post ChatGPT world.
Whether it’s general or narrow AI, traditional brick and mortar travel agencies slow death will likely accelerate.
In a similar vein, metasearch companies like Trivago have an uncertain future. Their biggest value is in price discovery which can be replicated by AI in a straightforward manner.
Online travel agencies like Expedia and Booking are a big question mark, can they build a strong enough brand to offset the potential ease of booking travel with a AI agent.
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