AI Heritage Avatar Doubles: Exploring the Use of large Presence, Digital Heritage and Testimony in Digital Twins
University of Siegen
18 / 07 / 2023 às 18:00

The development and use of AI Avatar Doubles have raised questions about the nature of temporality, testimony and wisdom (e.g.Digital Deepak), and social presence (e.g.META ́s “Mother Test”) in the digital age. This paper explores the potential to inherit or pass down cloud-based and other platformed avatars to future generations. How can Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs), Natural Language Processing (NLP), Computer Vision, Speech Recognition, and Deep Learning be utilized to create more accurate and truthful intergenerational AI Avatar representations as heritage and testimony of future pasts?
An Avatar in computing is a visual representation of a user or their character, either in the form of a playable character in games or as a virtual assistant or double in the digital world, such as the Metaverse. Has the continued evolution of AI Avatar Doubles the potential to change not only our understanding of the self- model of subjectivity as described in the Avatar Dream (Fox-Harrol and Lim 2017) or to form an prosthetic Avatar as puppet homunculus double of agency transformations in a technical milieu as virtual proxy and representative delegate of a real person, but as well change our relationship to history, temporality, media of testimony, collective memory, and social identity?
In an emerging eternalizing “Lifie” culture, the painter Salvadore Dali Avatar insists in its AI-trained aliveness: “I don’t believe in my death, do you?”. Through the examination of the different technological platforms and ML techniques used to create these AI Avatars, this proposal heeds values and perils of digital twins and their impact on our understanding of presentification, serial temporality, enlarged concept of presence, and how these media of international cooperation change socio-historical human experience.
The use of AI Avatars, including famous people and artists such as AI Avatar of Dali, Holocaust survivors, and personal or family descendance AI-based animated avatars created from pictures, videos, voice models, and text documents, as a means of preserving memories and experiences for future generations and questions the status of digital serial and animated heritage. We explore the values and perils of these AI Avatar Doubles and how they use the experience of temporality, testimony, fidelity and presence, but as well as seriality, statistical combinatorics and narrative, visual and historic fluidity through the lens of Gumbrecht’s concept of large presence.
Skarbez et al. (2017) differentiate in a) physical morphological fidelity of looks inside the operational environment, b) functional action fidelity of faciality of eye gaze or operational performance of the gaze in realistic movements and agency, and c) active perceptive fidelity. We also examine the technological platforms and ML techniques used to create legacy AI Avatars and the difficulties they entail in relation to testimony, truthfulness, and the invention of future pasts. AI Avatars as metahuman digital twins offer new perspectives on human-machine relationships in Memorial AI and Future Doubles in the sense of transgenerational tele-presence able to share gaze and facial expressiveness that is thought to be almost indistinguishable from an actual presence of a person or object to enhance our sense spectrum through new artificial digital media senses that could be called immersive digital sense of anticipation (Forshadowing) of proximity to an object, person, its time and history.
Testimony AI Avatars are a form of digital media double that preserve personal stories, anecdotes, metaphors and myths(Blumenberg), as opposed to traditional index cards. Index cards are physical cards storing images and metadata, while AI Heritage Avatars are interactive digital representations of individuals and social gestures with a vast amount of information including language, images, and cultural artifacts. The immersiveness of AI Heritage Avatars provides a more intimate and personal experience of history, but may limit critical reflection (pensiveness) and a complete understanding of historical events and figures, whereas index cards provide a static storage medium with a focus on simplicity and standardization.

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