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All the people pictured above are genuine, but what you see are representations of their selves that are synthetically created. And they’re programmable to say anything. Tech futurists have long cautioned that humans would be replaced by life-like AI-driven characters, where communicating between machine and person will be almost impossible. In reality, there is even a new book on “extreme fakes” on this topic.

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But that future is coming to a step closer today with the news that Hour One, which creates AI-driven synthetic characters based on real humans, is closing a $5 million seed fund led by Galaxy Interactive (via its Galaxy EOS VC Fund), Remagine Ventures and Kindred Ventures.

Hour One will use the funds to scale up its AI-driven cloud infrastructure, embark on ‘thousands’ of new characters, and grow its business.

Founded in 2019, Hour One creates technology for developing high-quality, real-world digital characters. The idea is to generate highly scalable and cost-effective production-grade video-based characters. The upshot of this is that, to the point of infinite scale, what seems to be a real human could talk about any product or subject at all.

This was showcased at its CES 2020 “real or synthetic” similarity test, which challenged people to distinguish between real and synthetic characters generated by their AI.

Read more: Instagram has kept images and messages removed from its servers for over a year

Oren Aharon, founder, and CEO of Hour One said in a statement: “We believe that real people’s synthetic characters will become a part of our daily lives. The dream is that Hour One will accelerate the use of digital characters to increase the level of contact through industries and use cases, between companies and individuals. We will provide a variety of solutions for next-gen remote business-to-human interactions by allowing each person to create their character along with our scalable cloud platform.

Business marketing lead for Hour One Natalie Monbiot, speaking to TechCrunch, said the organization has a remarkable opportunity to focus on “basically any human being and transform them into a virtual character that is a lifelike imitation of that individual. So it isn’t an avatar or that person’s version. It looks like that person and acts like that. Then you can generate new content basically by uploading new texts. So you can pick your characters in e-commerce, for example, and get them to present your product or do a product presentation. This means that each single SKU product can have its video presentation.


Hour One is actively partnering with businesses in the areas of e-commerce, healthcare, transportation, media, and business, with industry projects anticipated to grow through 2020.Disclaimer

Vinay Kumar

Being a Web Tech Lead and with a relevant experience, Vinay Kumar has gained the art of team and project handling to get the best out of them. During his career, he never stops learning new things. Talking about his interest, he is currently exploring innovative technologies that can bring transformation to businesses.

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