Have you ever wanted to chat with your favourite sports star about their day? Or ask Taylor Swift to spill the tea on her ex-boyfriends? Or what about historical figures? Maybe you want to know once and for all what Mozart’s favourite chord was. Or maybe you’d love to chat with your pet cat? Or your dead granny?
The possibilities are endless with Xpression Chat, a new AI app that simulates a video chat from any photograph. Of course, it’s not real. The app uses ChatGPT to invent answers to your questions. It is obviously just a simulation.
The app is brought to you by Tokyo-based deepfake company Embody Me. Essentially all you have to do is upload a photo with either a real person or an animation, and the app will appear to bring that person to life through the magic of AI. However, it merely creates an animation video from the photo and chooses from one of 50 different voices to apply to the face.
The app developers previously made Xpression Camera, an app which lets you simulate any expression onto an image of a face. According to Embody Me, the app has been downloaded countless times and even used in online meetings. The company plans to pitch the new app to businesses that may wish to use the technology in innovative ways to interact with the general public.
While this technology is so new, it’s not particularly convincing yet. However, we have seen some incredibly convincing deep fake videos, and now to replicate somebody’s voice, you supposedly only need around 3 seconds of audio.
This app is clearly aimed at entertainment and business use. However, the potential for similar apps to cause harm is apparent. How do we learn to grieve the loss of a loved one if they are still on our phones, able to chat with us at any moment? Will people prefer to develop virtual relationships with avatars that respond to their every whim instead of having messy human relationships?
I don’t know, I cannot see far into the future. However, I do know that I find this app a bit creepy. What do you make of this?