The era of artificial intelligence is upon us, and Chinese e-commerce sellers are making extensive use of it to sell their products with 24/7 livestreams, straight out of a dystopian sci-fi movie.
Chinese e-commerce sellers are leveraging AI to generate commercials using deepfakes of influencers and then streaming them 24/7. What makes it even more interesting is that it costs very little, both in terms of money as well as time, to generate these commercials, reported MIT Technology Review.
Apart from influencers showing off products, buyers can also experience virtual try-ons, where influencers demonstrate these products to simulate real-world experiences.
Can you tell this influencer selling you a cosmetic product is not real, but an AI-generated avatar? Chinese e-commerce sellers have started to deploy deepfakes like this to livestream 24/7. All it costs is $1000 and a 1-minute training video. https://t.co/w7YPJvTB4G pic.twitter.com/0Mb2VydWXH
— Zeyi Yang (@ZeyiYang) September 21, 2023
Livestream shopping is massive in China. According to a 2021 study, 40% of Chinese internet users were already using livestream shopping, and it is expected to reach $720 billion by the end of 2023 – this is 85% higher than Apple’s annual revenue in 2022.
One of the companies behind the livestream shopping boom is Silicon Intelligence, which specializes in text-to-speech technology. Its AI clone tools were used to require 30 minutes of training videos, which was eventually reduced to a few minutes.
The scripts, which were earlier written by humans, are now being done by large language models, too.
The cost? Just $1,000. This also covers the annual maintenance required for the tool.
Deepfake technology has gone from being used for esoteric purposes to more mainstream uses like this one in the span of a few years.
The AI clones being offered by Chinese companies can not only present a realistic live stream experience, but some advanced versions can also detect live comments and answer them in real time, giving an almost human-like experience to viewers.
However, there are concerns that these cheap livestream AI clones are eating into the jobs of human livestream hosts. According to a report, the average salary of livestream hosts in China fell 20% in 2022.
Produced in association with Benzinga
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