A website called The Infinite Conversation, built using artificial intelligence and featuring a perpetual conversation between virtual avatars of Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek and German director Werner Herzog, was launched last week by Italian artist and programmer Giacomo Miceli.
Through warning from virtual Žižek, Miceli shares that the initiative seeks to increase awareness about the simplicity of utilizing technologies for synthesizing a human voice. He believes any motivated user without in-depth technical knowledge can accomplish this feat today from their bedroom with a laptop. Miceli warns that this can alter how we interact with the online content we consume while posing issues with the value of reliable sources, betrayal of trust, and gullibility.
Miceli points out that by the end of 2022, it will be cheap and simple to create AI-generated content that makes it more appealing on the surface and is remarkably similar to the “real thing.” This holds true for recordings that seem like famous people (often referred to as Deepfakes) or speech, as in the instance of the Infinite Conversation.
The talented artist is said to have built the website using “open source tools available to anybody,” denying providing technical details but hinting that he could publish an explanation piece this week. In the site’s FAQ, he explains that the script was generated using a popular language model that has been improved on interviews and content created by each speaker.
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Visitors will view AI-generated charcoal pictures of the two guys in their profile when they visit the website. A transcript of AI-generated text is marked in yellow and read aloud between them by voices that imitate Herzog or Žižek. You may jump between each part by clicking the arrows underneath the portraits as the conversation moves back and forth between them with their individual accents.