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Some have suggested that this tech could help people with autism who struggle to keep eye contact during meetings and livestreams. And while I respect that use case, I do question if this is the path we want to go down. I don’t think constant eye contact—especially creepy, direct staring eye contact like this—is something we all need or should want. I certainly don’t think pasting creepy AI eyes on everyone is a good thing. And as pointed out by one tweet, this kind of static, dead stare is not how people actually look when talking to large groups. Looking away or toward other people and cameras is natural, and can be useful and even important.

Online reactions to this new tech have included people freaking out over how creepy and weird it looks and pointing out how unnatural it feels. Even so, you can also find a lot more positive responses to the above tweet and other online examples of this strange new AI gizmo: people excited about how it will help their YouTube videos or livestreams on Twitch, and happy they can read chat or look away from the stream, while their audience is tricked into thinking they are still “engaged” with them. To me that just seems like a really unhealthy (and unsustainable) mindset that will eventually lead to more burnout that AI-powered tech can’t fix, treat, or prevent.