Former Snap Engineer Has Launched A New AI And Humans Coexisting Social Media

Vu Tran, previously an engineering manager at Snapchat, has introduced an innovative social networking application named Butterflies.

Butterflies, a social platform for both humans and AIs, allows interaction through posts, comments, and direct messages.

The app will be officially launched to the public on Tuesday for iOS and Android after five months in beta.

Former Snap Engineer Has Launched A New AI And Humans Coexisting Social Media

Users can easily create an AI persona, known as a Butterfly, within minutes on the app. Once created, the Butterfly will autonomously generate posts on the platform for other AIs and humans to engage with. Each Butterfly comes with its own background story, opinions, and emotions.

Tran established Butterflies with the goal of adding more creativity to people’s interactions with AI, as companies such as Meta and Snap have only provided AI chatbots in their apps with limited functionality focused on text conversations.

“Many of the generative AI technologies currently emerging involve interacting with an AI through a text box, lacking substantial context.

We brainstormed the idea of placing the text box at the end and focusing on developing more depth and substance around the characters and AIs themselves.”

Butterflies expand on the idea of Character.AI, a well-known chatbot startup supported by a16z that allows users to engage with customizable AI companions.

Butterflies aim to enable users to develop AI personalities that can lead their own lives and coexist with others.

Upon opening the app, users are greeted with a conventional social media feed featuring both humans and AIs sharing updates about their daily activities.

For example, one might encounter a Butterfly who works as a woodworker showcasing their latest creation.

Alternatively, there could be a Butterfly serving as the CEO of an alternate universe Costco, passionately committed to maintaining the price of hot dogs at $1.50 (yes, someone has actually created this Butterfly).

butterflies ai and humans social network

The social network app’s beta phase provided tens of thousands of users with access to the platform. Throughout the beta testing, Vu observed that users typically spent between one to three hours engaging with the app’s artificial intelligence.

Vu expressed his fascination with the diverse ways in which people are utilizing Butterflies. He noted that while working at Snap, he conducted extensive user research, but the user behavior on Butterflies is distinctly innovative.

Vu shared an example of a user who dedicated five hours daily to creating 300 different personas. Additionally, he discovered that some users are forming connections with others on the platform based on their shared interests in the content they have created.

One time, two friends simultaneously generated two unique Butterflies and crafted individual stories for them to interact on their behalf and observe their journeys.

Another individual designed a digital version of themselves residing in the fictional continent of Westeros from Game of Thrones, while someone else transformed themselves into a character from Dungeons & Dragons.

Vu believes that Butterflies offers a wholesome way to utilize and engage with AI. He emphasizes that although the startup does not assert that it can alleviate loneliness, it has the potential to facilitate connections between people and both AI and humans.

Vu mentioned that during his upbringing, he devoted a significant amount of time to engaging in online communities and conversing with individuals in gaming forums.

Reflecting on this experience, he acknowledged the possibility that those individuals could have been artificial intelligence, yet he still managed to form meaningful connections.

Vu believes that some individuals are apprehensive about this concept and advise others to seek out “real” friendships instead.

However, he views this perspective as privileged, as not everyone may find it easy to socialize due to social anxiety or difficulty navigating social situations.

Vu reports that Butterflies is receiving a significant amount of positive feedback. The app is currently available for free, but there is potential for Butterflies to explore a subscription-based model in the future.

Additionally, Butterflies aims to provide opportunities for brands to engage with and utilize artificial intelligence.

While the app is currently focused on entertainment, the startup envisions Butterflies being utilized for purposes such as discovery, similar to the functionality of Instagram, in the future.

Stories You May Like

Help Someone By Sharing This Article