Nvidia has released its most annoying AI software yet. A new camera feature added in recent updates to the Nvidia Broadcast app edits live broadcasts to make it look like someone is always looking at the camera, even if they aren’t. It’s a disturbing feature that had me screaming and yelling the first time I saw it in real time.
Known as Eye Contact, the feature debuted earlier this month as part of the 1.4 patch for Nvidia Broadcast, software that enhances video for live streaming and video conferencing. Nvidia said in a blog post that Eye Contact is designed for content creators who want to maintain contact with the camera at all times, even if they’re, say, watching notes or an off-screen script. Now that it’s been out for a few weeks, we have a better idea of what it can do.
In one interesting demonstration of the function posted on Twitteryou can see the sights Jurassic Park edited with Eye Contact so that the actors are always (mostly) looking at the camera. It’s weird and awkward. Probably even if you’ve never seen the movie before. As if the person was that busy or not could do it so they don’t stop to wonder if they required…
I went on a video call with a colleague at Polygon to see eye contact in action for myself. It was weird, even though I was just looking at my partner the whole time. I think this is partly because completely uninterrupted eye contact doesn’t feel natural or normal if you’re having a casual conversation. Also, the software is not perfect. Nvidia says it’s in beta, so at some points he’d turn his head and look to the side, and his eyes would snap back to looking directly at the camera. he looked like a possessed character from a horror movie.
The eye contact feature is another example of AI becoming easy to use by everyday consumers. ChatGPT, which can be used for a variety of applications such as essay writing, became an overnight sensation due to its natural language output. Other software such as DALL-E, Midjourney, and Free AI Art Generator are used to create memes and recreate the look of certain directors’ films.
If you too want to use this AI black magic, all you need to do is download Nvidia Broadcast, although your computer will need certain hardware to run it, including an Nvidia GeForce RTX graphics card; You can view the full system requirements here.