Meet ‘Digital Marilyn’: Your Chance to Interact with an AI Avatar

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Virtual Conversations with Icons: The Rise of Soul Machines’ “Digital Marilyn”

If you’ve ever dreamed of engaging in a dialogue with the legendary Hollywood star Marilyn Monroe, now you’ll have the opportunity to do so—albeit in a virtual setting. San Francisco-based Soul Machines has unveiled “Digital Marilyn,” an interactive video avatar designed to deliver a personalized, interactive, real-time experience.

Soul Machines’ innovative concept behind “Digital Marilyn” isn’t rooted solely in nostalgia. The company underscores the significant advances in AI technology that have enabled them to honor and re-imagine renowned figures through interactive and captivating means.

According to Soul Machines’ blog post, the shift towards conversational chat with multimodal capabilities signals a rapid paradigm transformation from static search and text-based chat to conversational AI.

Collaborating directly with Monroe’s estate, Soul Machines affirms its commitment to never using its technology to supplant entertainers. CEO Greg Cross emphasized this stance in a statement on the company’s official website.

Innovative AI Avatars Beyond Monroe

Besides Monroe, Soul Machines offers a range of AI avatars featuring other notable personalities such as musician Mark Tuan, boxer Francis Ngannou, and golf legend Jack Nicklaus. The company’s use of “Biological AI” is geared towards authentically reproducing human-like behavior, distinguishing itself from current generative AI models.

Soul Machines’ approach involves prioritizing cognitive modeling and replicating human brain and body interactions inspired by neuroscience and cognitive science. By modeling human cognitive processes, learning, and developmental trajectories, the company aims to deliver more realistic behaviors through its avatars.

In a landscape where generative AI models emulating celebrities are becoming more prevalent, Soul Machines stands out as a pioneer in leveraging AI technology to engage with fans. Notably, the company’s AI companions offer a novel way for users to interact with their favorite celebrities, whether they are living or deceased.

While the concept of AI companions remains a novelty, the use of artificial intelligence to replicate human personalities raises pertinent ethical questions in both the entertainment and political spheres. The end of the SAG-AFTRA WGA strikes in November following negotiations underscored the importance of securing protections against AI in the creative industry.

As the entertainment landscape evolves, companies like Soul Machines, Respeecher, and Metaphysic are at the forefront of offering AI services to Hollywood, facilitating enhanced connectivity between artists and fans globally. Soul Machines’ CEO Greg Cross reiterates that AI technology should serve to bolster artists rather than replace them, emphasizing the potential for technology to deepen engagement in the entertainment industry.

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