opinion | The Immortal Trump

(Illustration Washington Post; Photos by Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images and Fritzchens Fritz/Better Images of AI/GPU recording etched 1/CC-BY 4.0)
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Chris Hamilton is a writer, inventor and AI engineer.

Machine learning has created extraordinary tools that help the producers of fake human images, voices and videos based on real life examples. In a few years, the world will witness the advent of autonomous digital avatars – moving and sounding with such an apparent naturalness that even the people they are based on will have to think twice. But the implementation costs will be high. It would be helpful for the person who is the real source to have a built-in audience that can be easily monetized.

Donald Trump has an audience.

Recent developments in this technical field abound. You probably heard about the . last month google engineer who claims that an AI app called LaMDA has become practically aware. “I know someone when I talk to them,” he said. “It” is a chatbot program that scours the web for data while refining its knowledge of how to talk like a human. And the result is eerie. Some people, while chatting with it online, are fooled into thinking that it harbors a deep inner life. Mirroring Trump shouldn’t be difficult.

For decades, mashups and “shops” — trick images based on a mishmash of sources — have been both a curse and a blessing to Internet life. One example, much loved by the MAGA crowd, is Trump’s head on the body of Rambo† Also such videos, in wild combinations, are often seen. In recent years, AI has made amazing deepfakes† We are so easily cheated.

In addition, speech samples are modified to create something new as deep neural networks create sequences of recordings and spread their magic. Give it some text and the model will produce a lifelike sound. FakeYou.com can do this online, as Trump wishes. The audio simulation is still a little rough, but it’s entertaining enough if you have the former president Shakespeare slaughtered or recite the Gettysburg Address.

DALL E 2 is an AI system that creates images from simple descriptions. On the horizon are internet apps that will take a suggestion, however detailed, and give you a photo: “Show me a painting of Donald J. Trump in the style of Gustav Klimt – with gold shoes and a Rolex watch, in a Little Lord Fauntleroy suit holding up his hands and dividing the Red Sea, leading his people to freedom.And that software will be happy to serve you – with multiple versions!A revolution of media art is coming.

Video games, too, are evolving rapidly, with characters of surprising autonomy, synthetic actors whose behavior depends on what they’ve done and who they’re with—sometimes baffling their own architects. Kind of like Trump and the GOP establishment.

This inevitably leads to the metaverse. All these simulation modes will be combined, allowing the creation of immortal digital avatars, with design quality dependent on the availability of abundant footage and data. Characteristics of one’s body mechanics, grammar, voice, facial expressions and responses to stimuli – unique to each individual – will be inculcated in the digital duality.

Why Trump? He doesn’t want to die. There is a mass of data on him. He has a hardcore audience. And they will pay. Trump’s first avatar will have human directors, just like an actor on film. But soon contextual intelligence will give it (him?) the sovereign freedom to act in response to what is present in the metaverse.

The essence of Trump will be based on his record of helicopter news conferences, tweets, episodes of The Apprentice, meetings, debates, and anything else caught on camera or otherwise known. His image, voice and political essence are crammed into a matrix. Avatar Trump will dish out political support, respond to the news and talk to real people in ways that are barely distinguishable from real Trump.

This is not a flying car, jetpack dream. Its commercial appeal will drive its development. No one can stop it. But the MAGA audience may be able to influence the Trump avatar, which will monitor the quality of engagement. Do People Prefer Regular Trump Or Superman Trump? Boring Trump or Polite Trump?

Avatar Trump can also be personalized to appeal to individual members of the public, just as Google and Facebook target users. The Trump model seen by Freedom_Joe_Flintlock will arrive hot. For extra, it shows up at parties and funerals (augmented reality glasses included).

If the technology is good enough, Trump could launch the avatar himself soon enough, with the rights to his image and likeness owned by his media group, then managed by his estate after he’s gone. Available for use in commercials, video games, political campaigns – any salable location. Tasteless? Yes. But undoubtedly more profitable than Trump Steaks.

The future is coming. We are all going to die. God is in his heaven. But Trump is immortal.

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