“AI Resurrection” has been added to the shopping cart, Black Mirror is really happening

When it comes to "AI resurrection," the first episode of the second season of "Black Mirror" broadcast in 2013 is often regarded as a terrifying prophecy.

This story tells the story of a female protagonist who lost her husband in a car accident and was unwilling to say goodbye. With the help of a high-tech company, she copied her husband's mind and body through social media and other materials to create an AI boyfriend.

However, the AI ​​boyfriend has no emotions. He keeps his eyes open all day long and does not need to sleep. His hand was cut by a splinter and healed immediately. The sound of his breathing is simulated very poorly. More importantly, he can only act according to orders in a dull manner.

The heroine could no longer bear the gap between AI and real people, so she ordered her AI boyfriend to jump off the cliff.

The AI ​​boyfriend calmly asked if he really wanted to jump. He had no suicidal tendencies, but if the heroine insisted, he would jump. The heroine replied that if it were the husband himself, he would be scared. The obedient AI boyfriend immediately imitated the husband. In response, she also started crying. The heroine broke down and screamed loudly.

"You are not you, you are just a ripple, you have no past."

"Don't be like this, I'm just here to please you."

Some time ago, musician Bao Xiaobai used AI to recreate his daughter's voice and image. Tang Xiaoou, founder of SenseTime Technology, appeared at the annual meeting in the form of a digital human, making "AI resurrection" a reality.

Even though there is human nature and white lies in "AI Resurrection", at least for now, it is just like what "Black Mirror" said, it is "pleasing" the living.

People are irreplaceable, but maybe 10% can be copied

"AI resurrection" is just an exaggerated term.

Even in the magical world of "Harry Potter", the Resurrection Stone cannot truly resurrect the dead. It only attracts substances that are more real than the soul and more illusory than the entity, bringing hopeless torture to the summoner.

The so-called "AI resurrection" can currently only simulate one or more parts of a person, including text, sound, images…

Experimental artist Laurie Anderson, who won the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in February this year, has also become a pioneer in the field of AI.

In 2021, she "resurrected" her husband with AI and trained the AI ​​with her husband's works, songs and interviews. After inputting prompt words, the AI ​​responded in the form of prose and poetry.

This experiment preceded the release of ChatGPT. At that time, most people had no idea about chatbots. What Anderson did was like a fantasy, and even his friends did not understand it.

Today, reality verges on science fiction, and maverick artists are praised for their prescience.

Only Anderson remained sober throughout, telling the Guardian who interviewed her:

I don’t think I’m talking to my dead husband, writing songs with him…but people have style, and it can be replicated.

▲A photo of Anderson and her husband.

Of course, there are not many "can be copied". Among the generated results, 75% are completely "idiotic and stupid", 15% make people want to "take another look", and only the remaining 10% is the really interesting part.

But for Anderson, 10% is enough. Life has a limit, and AI’s text is infinite. Infinity multiplied by 10% is still infinite.

Back then, Anderson cooperated with the Machine Learning Research Institute, and now ordinary people can become users of "AI Resurrection".

Through the services of startups such as Seance AI, users fill in the name, age, cause of death, personality traits, kinship, etc., enter the text left by the deceased, and then chat with the AI ​​using text.

If you don’t want to stay with pure black and white text, a monthly package of about 10 US dollars is waiting to be purchased. Paying users can simulate the voice of the target person on the basis of chatting, and create animated images with moving eyes and heads, just like the real version of " Daily Prophet.

Turning our attention to China, the most popular "AI resurrection" business is to provide photos and audios to make characters move or even speak. Taobao has many such businesses.

I consulted one of them, and they said that if you provide a frontal half-length photo, the character's mouth and eyes can move.

A very interesting detail is that considering that the technology may be illegally abused, the merchant emphasized that just for the sake of memory, facial recognition was bypassed, and actions such as blinking, shaking his head, nodding, and opening his mouth were refused.

As for "speaking", on the one hand, it provides enough sound material, and on the other hand, users can customize the copy at will. If there is no audio material and text content is provided, the merchant can also find an elderly person with a similar voice to record and dub it in Mandarin.

When asked here, I can't help but feel disillusioned with the "resurrection of AI". Even the sound can be made do, the moving photos and talking videos are all products customized on demand, which is just a comfort that is better than nothing.

The audience obviously knows this too. Although businesses advertise that it is "like having a relative around you," a user who purchased the service wrote in the comment area: "The dialects are still a bit different, and they can only be about 70% similar."

In addition to customized animations and videos, there is also a more realistic "AI resurrection" service that combines face-swapping and real-person acting, allowing real-time video calls, with an average order ranging from a few thousand to 10,000 yuan.

Specifically, technicians extract the image and voice of the target person, make a face model, and then call the virtual camera. During the video call, a real person puts on the image and voice of the target person for real-time interaction.

This type of "AI resurrection" video is highly played on short video platforms such as Douyin, and the protagonists are often old people who cannot bear the bad news. Under the instructions of his children, the technicians used similar faces and voices and told white lies. The old man looked at the "passed relatives" on the screen and could not distinguish the difference. He cried and expressed his thoughts and told the other person to be safe outside.

However, the technology of face-changing is common, and it may also be used for malicious fraud. The double-edged sword of technology is like a mirror, with beauty on one side and withered bones on the other.

Customized digital humans for ordinary people

The use of technology to "resurrection" characters is actually not new.

CGI allows deceased Hollywood actors to return to the big screen, departed singers to return to the stage in holographic form, and deceased relatives to be "resurrected" in the VR world…

South Korea's MBC documentary "I Met You", released in 2020, tells a story that is sadder than sad.

The 7-year-old girl Nayeon unfortunately passed away from leukemia, and her mother was still unable to get over the pain. The MBC program team found the Korean VR company VIV Studio, hoping to build a virtual VR character based on Nayeon's information.

Naiyan's mother wore a VR headset and tactile gloves, reached out to pick up items and interacted with "Naiyan" in the virtual world. When she subconsciously wanted to pick up "Naiyan", she failed.

At that moment, the mother herself, the staff and even the audience outside the screen could realize that her body was standing in front of the green screen and her hands were just touching the air.

The same goes for today's "AI resurrection". There is always a moment of "departure" that brings people back to reality.

A reporter from the technology media Futurism experienced the "text-resurrected" Seance AI and found that she was pleasantly surprised when they first started communicating. The "AI father" responded enthusiastically to her greetings. However, when the topic became more in-depth, the AI ​​soon began to repeat and parrot. Feedback the information given by the user.

I tell the machine what I want to hear and it spits it back to me.

She felt sweet at first, then embarrassed, and finally boundless emptiness.

Face-changing "AI resurrection" can only make the appearance and voice realistic, but cannot reproduce subtle emotions.

A report from "One Article" mentioned that when practitioners put on the face of the deceased and make video calls, many customers don't even need them to speak, "just take a look." People actually know deep down in their hearts that what they see in front of them is just flowers in the moonlight and water in the mirror.

Even if technology can reach the end, ethics and morality will always be controversial.

In mythology, science fiction, and horror stories, resurrection from the dead is often regarded as taboo, and it is likely that the person who died was not given permission. Either the person who was "resurrected" was not the person himself, or "resurrection" brought about the pain of gain and loss. "Moving forward" "Look and don't look back" is correct.

Now that the AI ​​has been resurrected without a soul, some people think it is morbid, while others think it is understandable. Bao Xiaobai's personal behavior of using AI to reproduce his daughter's voice is still humane, but if "AI resurrection" becomes an industry chain, there may be some risks.

Technology companies focusing on "AI resurrection" have a keen sense of this and package the technology in a more harmless way, calling it "AI healing", "AI companionship" and "just a way to remember loved ones, no essential difference from sweeping graves." .

However, speaking more broadly, "AI resurrection" is a subset of "customized digital humans for ordinary people", and the latter is not limited to deceased relatives.

For example, Xiaobing, who is leading the digital human race, launched the first batch of online celebrity clones last year, which are highly close to the conversational personality, voice, and appearance of the person, just like GPT, which is set to be a handsome guy and beauty, can talk, and focuses on companionship. For security reasons, the usage scenarios are limited to specific products and the API is not open.

Some young people hope to have digital avatars of their idols through similar technologies, but doing so carries the risk of infringement, so no business has blatantly advocated for this type of business.

However, some bloggers on Xiaohongshu have "resurrected" celebrities such as Coco Lee and Kobe Bryant, making them speak and even dance. They also added a disclaimer at the end: "It is intended to pay tribute and commemoration, and has no commercial purpose. If there is any Please contact us for any infringement issues."

For Chinese people, life and death are important matters. We tend not to joke casually and will be more tolerant. In these comment areas, the messages are also more tender: "Although it doesn't look like her/him, I miss her/him."

"Save" instead of "resurrect"

Do you want to "resurrection" your deceased relatives using AI?

Are you willing to let yourself be "resurrected" by future generations using AI?

If the subject is different, you may get completely opposite answers.

AI companies such as StoryFile and HereAfter AI have taken a different approach, encouraging you to record your life story, create a virtual version of you, and then leave it to future generations for "face-to-face" interaction.

They called their work "preservation," not "resurrection."

Specifically, you first accept an automated interview on the platform, like playing truth or dare. The questions revolve around your family, career, travel, and outlook on life. For example, what are you most proud of and the technological changes that have had the greatest impact on you? What is it.

During this process, you record your answers using video or audio, and then the materials are uploaded to the cloud.

Future generations will face an interactive video or audio, and AI will find the most relevant answers based on their questions. When your voice sounds, it will feel like you are chatting with them.

The idea may be good, but recording life stories has to be divided into three levels. The more advanced the package you subscribe to, the more diverse the questions will be, and the recorded videos will be longer and higher-definition.

You may ask, why not just pass on the photo albums, audio recordings, and videos as inheritance?

AI companies have emphasized that unlike traditional photo albums and recordings, their services are interactive, accurately retrieved, available anytime and anywhere, with questions and answers, just like a more personalized voice assistant that can have conversations. life diary.

Not to mention whether these life stories can help predecessors plant trees and provide future generations with some valuable experience. What is even more worrying is that if these data are accidentally leaked, social death may come earlier than physical death.

But it also inspired me that the way humans preserve memories always seems to advance with technology.

I also prefer the term "preserving" rather than "resurrecting" the trajectory of life.

Some people say that a person will die three times in his life. The first time is when you die, the second time is when you are buried, and the third time is when you are forgotten by the last person who remembers you. One of our fears about death is that the person will disappear and then the memory will disappear and everything will become faded and blurry.

In the past, people used diaries, photo albums, and video tapes. Nowadays, we take photos with our mobile phones, wear Vision Pro to record spatial videos, and use AI to make characters move and speak.

Apple defines Vision Pro as: a revolutionary spatial computer that changes the way people work, collaborate, connect, relive memories and enjoy entertainment. It seems unusual for a technological device to specifically mention "memory."

Almost everyone who tried it was stunned by the spatial audio of Vision Pro. They felt surrounded by a panoramic view, as if they were standing at the shooting scene and returned to a certain moment.

Vision Pro’s promotional copy for its photo and video capabilities says this:

Be in the moment. All over again. (Live in the moment, start everything over again.)

Reality is the most precious and there is no substitute for truth. Time is like running water. At every moment, the future has become the present, and the present has become the past. Life is still going on, and the memories are as bright as new.

Before starting the company, the founder of HereAfter AI used more than ten hours of his father's recordings to create the chat robot Dadbot, the predecessor of HereAfter AI.

Vlahos doesn't think Dadbot has made him miss his father any less, but he's happy to feel traces of his father's presence and his personality still fresh in his mind.

Compared with rummaging through boxes and boxes to restore old photos in the past, because of AI, we now at least have more opportunities to archive memories.

If "AI resurrection" cannot be stopped, and we will be made into "digital beings" by future generations one day in the future, don't forget to write a few disclaimers for yourself in your will: This user may be fictitious and is for reference only.

It is as sharp as autumn frost and can ward off evil disasters. Work email: [email protected]

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