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AI creates “digital twins” for entertainment industry

Chinese entertainment show presented by AI-powered celebrity hosts – and creator Oben has its sights set on the music business

By Anna Grace on 30 Jan 2019

Oben, a company specialising in personal artificial intelligence (PAI) technology, has created the first-ever AI entertainment hosts, who presented Chinese New Year programming together with their human counterparts.

On 28 January, the well-known television hosts Beining Sa, Xun Zhu, Bo Gao and Yang Long hosted China Central Television’s (CCTV) Network Spring Festival Gala alongside their “digital twins”, courtesy of Oben’s PAI technology.

An accompanying WeChat mini-app allowed viewers to use any of the four PAI hosts to send personalised new year’s greetings to friends and family. The celebrity PAIs delivered video messages to recipients, much in the way that human celebrities record personalised voicemails or Instagram videos for fans.

“The ‘digital twins’ facilitate new ways to engage viewers and fans in more personalised and unique experiences”

The PAIs created by Oben can look and sound like anyone in the world, constituting believable digital replicas of famous human figures. Using AI, the avatars can be taught to sing in another’s voice, perform specific dances and interact with fans through mobile devices.

The “digital twins” facilitate new ways to engage viewers and fans in more personalised and unique experiences. The technology has proved popular in the entertainment industry and Oben has worked on several celebrity partnerships.

The company is expanding into the music industry too. Oben recently released a human/ PAI duet music video with popular Chinese female idol group SNH48. The “digital twins” join their human counterparts in the video to sing, dance and interact with the band.


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