Digital clones and virtual ambassadors

Posted by Flux on 

25 May 2023

What’s trending?
We are now able to create digital versions of ourselves. Models, artists and celebrities are embracing this technology to create additional sources of income, while maintaining the legal rights and control of their clones. Supermodel Eva Herzigová now has a digital likeness, her MetaHuman, to be used for virtual fashion shows and modelling digital clothes. According to her press release, “This now means that Eva’s MetaHuman can be re-dressed, posed and lit, have her hair and make-up restyled, and her body and facial expressions are ready to be animated using motion capture or traditional animation.” LA-based modelling agency, Photogenics, is opening an avatar division with photo realistic 3D avatar versions of 13 models on their books, enabling models to monetise their careers beyond the physical world. 

Why is it important?
The ability of AI to recreate and reuse voices, music and content, along with the ability to change and manipulate it in different ways, presents both an opportunity and a threat. Models, artists and celebrities are able to partake monetarily in the digital economy. However, wrongdoers are able to mimic the voice of someone for example, which can be used for nefarious purposes as was the case when a voice deepfake was used to spoof a German chief executive and scam the company out of $243,000. The potential for misinformation and fraud that this technology presents is vast and we are just starting to see the extent of it.

What can businesses do about it?
Businesses in the creative industries can set up virtual ambassadors to promote a company’s products on social media. On the downside, businesses need to establish authenticity in a world of increasingly sophisticated deepfakes, where a customer or an employee can be impersonated. Educate employees and customers about the existence and potential risks of voice cloning technology. Implement robust authentication processes that go beyond voice-based verification alone. Multi-factor authentication, such as combining voice recognition with additional authentication factors like passwords, biometrics, or security questions, can enhance security and minimise the risk of unauthorised access. Invest in voice authentication systems that can detect anomalies and potential voice cloning attempts. 

By Faeeza Khan
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Image credit: Dynamic Wang

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