AI startup wants to create avatars of your favourite stars – CNET

AI Stars

You could hear your favourite South Korean celeb giving you directions over the GPS by end of the year.

Artificial intelligence startup Oben has partnered South Korean talent agency SM Entertainment to launch AI Stars, according to a joint statement released Wednesday. AI Stars will see avatars of celebrities created using AI technology for use in “lifestyle applications.”

The project will recreate a celeb’s voice, image and character within an avatar that replicates its human counterpart. Expected to be introduced later this year, the avatars will be incorporated into “lifestyle applications” such as smart devices, robots, chatbots and self-driving vehicles.

Companies have been looking for ways so celebs can interact with their fans better, including livestreaming on dedicated platforms such as V Live, which allows celebs to react to comments from fans in real-time. This project provides another way to do that. Young Min Kim, Chief Vision & Strategy Officer of SM Entertainment, and Nikhil Jain, cofounder and CEO of Oben agree the “next evolution of entertainment” will be driven by AI, which will help celebs create “interactive” and “meaningful” experiences for fans.

Fans of Hollywood celebs won’t be left out either. Oben is also looking beyond Asia to rope in Hollywood, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

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