Nvidia has developed new broadcast software that uses AI to give the impression that streamers are looking directly into their cameras, but constant eye contact is considered “creepy autofocus.”
On January 13, 2022, Nvidia announced several new features that will appear in NVIDIA Broadcast with update 1.4. One of them, in particular, was a new eye contact feature that uses artificial intelligence to create the impression that the streamer maintains constant eye contact with his camera.
And on January 17, the Twitch 1030 streamer posted a video demonstrating the program in action. “Amazing new machine learning technology,” he declared. “As an autistic guy, I would like to have this in real life.”
But the more streamers got access to this feature, the less favorable the reviews were. Both viewers and streamers call the eye contact mode “creepy” and “unnatural”, and in some cases break the software for the worse.
I'm not looking at you.
Amazing new machine-learning technology from @nvidia called Eye Contact.
As an autistic guy I wish I had this in real-life.
— Twitch.tv/1030 (@1030) January 17, 2023
Nvidia Eye Contact “looks away”
Nvidia Eye Contact uses AI to track the position of the streamer’s eyes and position them so that they look directly into the camera. At the time of writing, it was in beta, and the developer stated that they were working on iterations that would fix some issues.
One problem is that this feature does not show the streamer flashing. When the streamer blinks, the stream from Nvidia Broadcast doesn’t budge, leaving their eyes glued to the camera. This was shown by the streamer DerTilmen, who completely closed one eye only for the program to generate a fake eye looking through his eyelids.
— Tilmen Mesut Kuçin (@TiLMEN) January 24, 2023
If the software loses track of the streamer’s face or if the streamer moves his head too fast, the eye contact function will return his eyeballs to their place as soon as it fixes the streamer’s face. Viewers found this particularly disturbing.
“I used it during the stream, and my friend noticed that at times it was out of order. An ominous valley or something like that,” the user tweeted. Twitch streamer Barnacules stated: “I checked it out during the live broadcast and people found it creepy AF, and I agree. Especially the way it clicks.
Others asked an unflattering question: “Why?” Well, according to Nvidia, this feature is intended for content creators who want to record themselves while reading notes or a script, as well as for video conference hosts who want to improve interaction with their audience.