In a culture-jacking stunt worthy of the “Year of AI,” a company called play.ht has produced a fictional podcast starring AI-generated versions of Joe Rogan and the late Steve Jobs. You may not enjoy the content, but you will enjoy this tour de force in technique.
The practical application of bringing people back from the dead in audio, video, or virtual (also video, technically speaking) form using AI has been in the news for quite some time. Most recently, there was some noise about Bruce Willis allegedly selling his AI-generated name and likeness to Deepcake; the veracity of this claim is unclear, but the technology is unquestionably available for such a rights grant. On the verified side of the scale, James Earl Jones said that he had “retired” from his role as Darth Vader because his voice could be “so convincingly” replicated.
In a few months (certainly not more than a year or so), we are going to learn of some incredible event using this technology. It might be a fake political announcement or the announcement of first contact with alien lifeforms (think War of the Worlds). It might be something that crashes or boosts the financial markets; it might start (or end) a war. Sooner than later, this technology will be at everyone’s fingertips; at that time, the technology will cease to be news. (We don’t cite the telephone as a groundbreaking technology that empowers political leaders to communicate.) The story will shift to how the technology is being used and how it is changing our behavior.
This is not a “someday in the future” kind of tech. The improvements in AI are exponential and the use cases are so vast that these tools will literally impact everyone and everything in both obvious ways and ways yet to be imagined. Get ready.
Author’s note: This is not a sponsored post. I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I am not, nor is my company, receiving compensation for it.