The constant improvement of artificial intelligence and its capabilities continues to amaze the world. AI has managed to penetrate various fields, including that of influencers. Much has been said about figures like Natalia Novak or Lil Miquela, personalities that only exist on social media.
However, China has taken it a step further. If you delve into Taobao, one of the country’s most popular platforms, you will find an abundance of streamers who broadcast for hours and seem never to rest. They don’t need to because they aren’t real.
This was reported by MIT Technology Review, a magazine owned by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Specifically, these figures are artificial recreations of existing influencers. The growing popularity of these deepfakes has skyrocketed and now firmly dominate the commercial strategies followed by Chinese brands in the world of streaming.
The role of influencers has gained immense importance in selling anything, and Chinese tech giants are well aware of this. Many of them currently offer a service capable of creating artificial avatars for e-commerce-focused live streams. All that’s required is to record a sample video, pay around $1,000, and voilà: the result is a clone of a human streamer that can work tirelessly.
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Silicon Intelligence, a startup based in Nanjing, is one of the companies making it possible for these artificial influencers to exist. Specializing in natural language processing and text-to-speech conversion, it began to see the potential of AI as a tool for live streaming back in 2020.
Now, the company has a new goal: to add “emotional intelligence” to these clones. Sima Huapeng, founder and CEO of Silicon Intelligence, explains that this will make artificial streamers “sad” if they see abusive comments or “happy if products sell well.” While these clones are not yet capable of fully competing with real influencers, their presence has already made more than one influencer nervous.