Imagine being able to experience history like never before. History classes taught by the figures themselves, providing an entirely new perspective on the events that shaped our world. That’s the vision behind the use of AI tools to generate accurate historical representations of people speaking on video. It may sound like science fiction, but it’s quickly becoming a reality.

This new technology allows us to engage in two-way voice conversations with iconic legends like Steve Jobs and Taylor Swift through our phones. It’s like having a personal conversation with someone who is no longer with us.

Oh no!

As with any powerful technology, AI has the potential to be used for negative purposes. One of the most alarming ways AI can be misused is through deepfakes. These are manipulated videos that use AI algorithms to make it appear as if someone is saying or doing something that they never actually did. Deepfakes can be used to spread fake news, propaganda, or to frame innocent individuals. They can be used to impersonate people, leading to scams, phishing attacks, and other types of fraud. As deepfakes become more sophisticated, they pose a significant threat to our ability to trust the media and our ability to know what’s real and what’s not.

Images generated by midjourney, prompt: hologram of cleopatra speaking in front of students –ar 5:4 –q 2 –v 5

Holodeck!

On the other hand, AI-generated deepfakes can also be used for educational purposes. In remote villages where access to education is limited, AI-generated deepfakes can act as educators. These deepfakes can take the form of virtual teachers, using the voices and images of real teachers to provide personalized instruction to students. This technology has the potential to revolutionize education in areas where access to traditional forms of education is limited.

Another way AI-generated deepfakes can be used positively is in historical reenactments. By using AI to recreate historical figures, we can bring history to life in a way that was never possible before. Imagine being able to interact with a virtual Abraham Lincoln, learning about his life and accomplishments in an immersive and engaging way. This technology has the potential to make history more accessible and engaging for people of all ages.

How can I play with it?

Here’s how you can play with it. One example is – Forever Voices AI. This innovative technology allows us to speak with realistic AI personas of our favorite celebrities and public figures. So far it’s mainly for fun – the founders made videos with Joe Rogan, Steve Jobs, Obama and Trump and others. Still early early alpha, but one testers that works with them has used it to made an impersonation of Einstein to teach his high school students about physics!

But how about this: imagine a math class taught by Gauss or a CS lecture by Turing. With AI-generated representations, one can learn from the greatest minds in history in a way that was once impossible. It would be pretty much like having a Holodeck on your phone (sans the hologram part).

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