Opportunities and challenges amid exponential advances in AI technology

AI Video & Visuals

In the video above, you can see a side-by-side comparison of me and my AI counterpart: if you look closely at the clone, you'll notice my skin is unnaturally shiny, my eyes blink, my mouth doesn't move in the same way, and my voice mimics my natural way of speaking, but without the usual pitch variations of a human.

These things may seem obvious, but they become obscured when videos are shrunk to fit lecture slides and audio is compressed through recordings.

The clone took just three minutes to process.

“If we had hours of recordings of you, we'd definitely get better results,” Jha says, “but I want to emphasize that it was your voice, and you were listening. It's not going to be audible to the average person meeting you in a casual setting.”

Professor Jha believes there is nothing wrong with the technology as long as people are honest.

Musician FKA Twigs recently told a US Congressional inquiry that she created an “AI Twigs” to interact with her fans while she focuses on her art, but her statement said nothing about whether people would know they were talking to the real her.

“For example, I should tell my fans, this is my persona created by an AI agent,” Jha said. “I don't know if that will be super popular, but time will tell.”

The bright side of AI cloning

Professor Jha's technology was developed with accessibility in mind: he sees the existence of virtual clones as a game-changer for people who struggle with public speaking and presenting.

“I personally know people who stutter. They're brilliant researchers and would be fantastic teachers if they didn't have to speak in front of the class for an hour or two because they lack confidence. With our technology, they can create automated lectures.”

“I think even if you have a disability, you can use this technology for sign language, for example. The multilingual capability has a lot of potential. I can translate my speech in Chinese, Hindi and German, and then translate it back in English if asked.”

The idea was put to the test in India's elections this year, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi's party used AI to translate the prime minister's speeches into multiple languages ​​in a country with more than 800 official and unofficial dialects.

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