Aflorithmic, an AI-driven audio cloning startup, has created a digital version of Albert Einstein using AI voice cloning technology drawing on audio records of the famous scientist’s actual voice. TechCrunch reports: Alforithmic says the “digital Einstein” is intended as a showcase for what will soon be possible with conversational social commerce. Which is a fancy way of saying deepfakes that make like historical figures will probably be trying to sell you pizza soon enough, as industry watchers have presciently warned. The startup also says it sees educational potential in bringing famous, long-deceased figures to interactive “life.” Or, well, an artificial approximation of it — the “life” being purely virtual and Digital Einstein’s voice not being a pure tech-powered clone either; Alforithmic says it also worked with an actor to do voice modelling for the chatbot (because how else was it going to get Digital Einstein to be able to say words the real-deal would never even have dreamt of saying — like, er, “blockchain”?). So there’s a bit more than AI artifice going on here too.
In a blog post discussing how it recreated Einstein’s voice the startup writes about progress it made on one challenging element associated with the chatbot version — saying it was able to shrink the response time between turning around input text from the computational knowledge engine to its API being able to render a voiced response, down from an initial 12 seconds to less than three (which it dubs “near-real-time”). But it’s still enough of a lag to ensure the bot can’t escape from being a bit tedious. The report notes that the video engine powering the 3D character rendering components of this “digital human” version of Einstein is the work of another synthesized media company, UneeQ, which is hosting the interactive chatbot version on its website.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.