Joanna Stern’s Bold Experiment
Most likely you have wondered what it would be like to have an AI clone of yourself?
To have a digital avatar that looks and sounds just like you, capable of taking over your daily tasks and responsibilities?
Well, Joanna Stern, a renowned tech journalist, decided to put this idea to the test in a daring 24-hour challenge. The test was conducted from Joanna and ‘Wall Street Journal‘.
She replaced herself with an AI clone to see if it could truly sub in for the real her. The results were both intriguing and thought-provoking.
The Process of Cloning
Joanna’s AI clone was created using cutting-edge technology from Synthesia, a startup specializing in AI-generated avatars. The process began with Joanna recording a series of head movements and reading a pre-written script.
These recordings were used as training data for the AI neural networks to create a lifelike digital representation of Joanna. The avatar mimicked her facial expressions and movements, making it eerily similar to the real her.
To further enhance the authenticity of her Artificially Intelligent clone, Joanna’s voice was cloned using ElevenLabs, an AI speech software developer. Two hours of Joanna’s previous recordings were used to train the Artificial Intelligence to replicate her voice accurately. The result was astonishing a voice clone that could flawlessly imitate Joanna’s tone, intonation, and speech patterns.
The Four Challenges
Armed with her AI clone, Joanna embarked on a series of challenges.
Challenge One: Phone Calls
The first challenge was making phone calls. Joanna had a scheduled call with Evan Spiegel, the CEO of Snap. She introduced herself as Joanna, but Evan didn’t suspect anything amiss.
The AI clone’s voice was so convincing that even Joanna’s own sister was initially fooled. The Artificially Intelligent clone seamlessly engaged in conversations, raising questions about the potential of AI-generated voices in everyday communication.
Challenge Two: Creating a TikTok
The second challenge involved creating a ,TikTok video. Joanna turned to ,ChatGPT, an Artificial Intelligence language model, to write a script for an obscure iOS 16 tip. However, the process proved challenging as the Artificial Intelligence often veered into fictional territory.
After several attempts, Joanna managed to get a suitable script and used Synthesia to bring her avatar to life in the TikTok video. While the final result impressed her, TikTok users were quick to spot the limitations of the AI clone.
The lack of arm movements, occasional mismatch between mouth movements and audio, and limited facial expressions were noticeable shortcomings.
Challenge Three: Bank Biometrics
The next challenge involved testing the Artificially Intelligent clone’s capabilities in a banking context. Instead of answering security questions, some banks now use voice biometrics for authentication.
Joanna’s Artificial Intelligence clone successfully passed the voice verification process, fooling the system and gaining access to a customer service representative. However, when her intern, Slav, attempted to impersonate her, the voice biometric system detected the difference and prompted for further verification.
This demonstrated the potential vulnerabilities and the need for additional security measures in the face of AI clones.
Challenge Four: Video Calls
The final challenge was video calls. Joanna used ChatGPT to generate generic meeting phrases, which her AI clone recorded and played during Google Meet calls. The reactions were mixed, with some participants detecting the hologram-like appearance and lack of jokes that Joanna would typically make. The Artificially Intelligent clone’s shortcomings in mimicking natural human behavior became apparent in the context of real-time video interactions.
Lessons Learned and Reflections
Throughout the 24-hour challenge, Joanna discovered the capabilities and limitations of AI clones. While her Artificially Intelligent voice proved to be remarkably convincing, Artificially Intelligent generated avatars still have room for improvement. The potential for time-saving and efficiency gains is evident, but concerns about potential misuse and scams also arise.
Synthesia and ElevenLabs, the companies behind the creation of AI clones, emphasize the importance of obtaining consent and taking precautions to prevent misuse. However, the responsibility lies not only with the developers but also with individuals to remain vigilant in distinguishing between real and AI-generated content.
Striking a Balance
The experience left Joanna with mixed feelings. On one hand, she appreciated the convenience and time-saving aspects of having an AI clone that could handle certain tasks. On the other hand, she couldn’t shake off concerns about the potential misuse of AI voices and avatars. The technology opens up possibilities for scammers to exploit people’s trust and impersonate individuals for fraudulent purposes.
As AI continues to advance, it becomes increasingly challenging to discern between what’s real and what’s fake. The lines between human and AI-generated content are blurring, raising important questions about the ethics and implications of these technological advancements.
Embracing our Humanity
“,The video above is from “Wall Street Journal”, and all rights belong to their respective owners.”
In conclusion, Joanna Stern’s 24-hour challenge provided a captivating glimpse into the world of Artificially Intelligent clones. While her AI voice proved to be incredibly convincing, the limitations of Artificially Intelligent generated avatars became apparent. The journey highlighted the need for continued research and development to refine these technologies and address potential security concerns.
As we navigate this ever-evolving landscape of Artificial Intelligence, it becomes crucial for individuals and society to stay informed, be cautious, and embrace critical thinking. While AI clones may offer convenience and efficiency, it is of utmost importance to strike a balance technological advancement and preserving human authenticity.
So, for now, the Artificially Intelligent clone may not have fully replaced Joanna Stern for a day, but it has certainly sparked intriguing conversations about the future of Artificial Intelligence and its affect on our lives.
As we continue to explore the possibilities and implications of Artificial Intelligence technology, one thing remains certain our humanity and our ability to stay discerning and connected will always be at the forefront of the equation.
In the end, the challenge posed by AI clones is not only about replacing individuals but also about how we navigate the blurred lines between the real and the artificial. As we embrace the potential of Artificial Intelligence, let us remember to cherish our human connections, our unique experiences, and our ability to empathize and create.
After all, no AI clone can ever truly replace the essence of being human.
Note: The views and opinions expressed by the author, or any people mentioned in this article, are for informational purposes only, and they do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice.