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    Today in “AI will replace us all.” Author avatars can now read their books to you.

    Jessie Gaynor

    August 16, 2019, 10:21am

    Every so often, we get a bit of the future that looks more like the hoverboards we were promised and less like the nightmare Octavia Butler predicted. Such is the case with the news that Chinese search engine Sogou is using artificial intelligence to create AI versions not only of authors’ voices, but also their likenesses. Sogou is doing a test run with two writers, Yue Guan and Bu Xin Tian Shang Diao Xian Bing, whose avatars will read their books on an e-reader app. The technology, which uses video and audio of authors to create their AI-versions, could also be used to reanimate dead writers in AI form.

    This seems both cool and utterly horrifying, and like all the fun technology we love, it will surely be used for something unthinkably malevolent at some point in the near future. In the meantime though: Alexa, ask Octavia Butler to read me Parable.

    [h/t Futurism]

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