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Are You Sure Your Favorite Celebrity is A Human? What if They are Digital Humans?

Think twice before you go and pine over your celebrity crush who might be a digital human.

Hey there, are you daydreaming over your celebrity crush again? Well, it’s time to crash that dream cause the one you are swooning over might not even be a real human. Wait, what? Yes, you read it right. Their beautiful face, pretty eyes, and everything else that is picture-perfect might just be a digital human rendition mastered by some totally grumpy developer-controlled emotionless AI machine.

Guess, who came up with this! Well, who else if not China with their long list of weird AI innovations? In June 2022, a new music video was released by one of the greatest celebrities in China, Simon Gong, getting around 15 million views. But the hawk-eyed fans were not fooled by it. The news was spread quickly that the singer in the video was not actually Simon Gong, but his digital replica made by Baidu. Netizens all over the world are left baffled and confused over the fact that they should be happy over this digital advancement or disappointed over the lack of human touch.

It also raises the question of why is there such a need for digital humans when there is already a population of 7 billion humans. Well, the answer might make you lose sleep; it is the “round-the-clock” services. After 8 or 9 hours of work, a human will need rest as well as food, but these digital humans can work 24×7. From retail to healthcare and finance, the yearning for digital humans is growing to such an extent that experts predict the global market for digital humans will jump to about $530 billion in 2030, from $10 billion in 2023.

Coming back to the Simon Gong case, what makes this digital human different from its other prototypes is its unique interactiveness. The virtual Gong’s digital duties are not limited to singing. On the latest update of the Baidu App, China’s leading search-plus-feed app, Gong appears on users’ phones, helping with searches and queries using the model-actor’s real voice. Since this interactive search experience was launched in 2021, it has boosted the number of voice search queries on Baidu App by 18.2%.

So, think twice before you fall for a ‘digital idol’!!

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Written by Satavisa Pati

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