Jordi “Kwebbelkop” Van Den Bussche, a massive gaming YouTuber with over 15 million subscribers on the platform, has been working for some time to create his own AI replacement, modeled to look, sound, and act like the creator himself. As he told Wired in a recent interview, he has plenty of reasons for wanting an AI clone of himself to take his place as a content creator.
In the interview, Kwebbelkop said he worked really hard to build his channel, which he started in April 2008 uploading Call of Duty content. In the 15 years since, though, and especially in the last five years, he explained that he began burning out as he struggled to take time off while building his brand. It’s tough to take time off, he explained, when the whole business relies on you—an issue many professional creators face. It was around this time, particularly with the advent of artificial intelligence models like ChatGPT and DALL-E, that he had an epiphany: He’d use AI to help out, creating and uploading videos without his involvement so he can take a break.
“I’m retired from being an influencer,” he said. “I’ve had a lovely career. I had a lot of fun. I want to take things to the next level. And that means making this brand live on forever.”
Kwebbelkop wouldn’t reveal what tools were used for his AI, which uploaded its first video, above, on August 1. However, Wired speculates that the tools that power Kwebbelkop AI are similar to those marketed by the start-up Forever Voices (the same one Kaitlyn “Amouranth” Siragusa uses for her chatbot) and the YouTube video maker QuickVid.ai. Kwebbelkop, after experimenting with his AI in preparation for its launch, realized humans were the fatal flaw of content creation specifically because of burnout. As such, Kwebbelkop’s AI would perform while IRL Kwebbelkop worked in the background.
“It’s modeled after me and my creativity and my input,” he said. “Everyone thinks I’m retiring as a creator and letting this AI run, but I’m not retiring as a creative. […] We’ve seen a lot of success with these systems. I’m very confident that they can reproduce creativity—so much so that I’m willing to bet my entire business on it.”
In the end, though, Kwebbelkop not only sees great potential in AI but also hopes that his tests—Kwebbelkop AI and Bloo, a completely AI-generated GTA V VTuber with over 775K subscribers—encourage content creators who’ve stepped back due to burnout to come back to making videos online again.
“That’s the one really big use case we’re focusing on right now,” he said. “People who have an existing brand, want to continue this existing brand, but are facing a human problem like the one we had. Every YouTuber and every influencer who has ever retired has experienced that.” Whether viewers will show up for AI-generated content creators in the long term, though, remains to be seen.
Kotaku reached out to Kwebbelkop for comment.
This all comes not long after artificial intelligence began making waves on Twitch, with livestreams featuring AI-generated Biden vs. Trump debates, an AI Jesus talking about anime, and AI xQc playing Only Up! all garnering tens of thousands of views. The future is getting more artificial by the day, it seems.