RAUWcc presents: Esther Olofsson 3.0
The first Dutch AI-generated virtual human
Esther Olofsson, the virtual brainchild of RAUWcc, is going through a spectacular transition this fall, from handmade 3D graphics to being completely created by artificial intelligence. This makes her the first Dutch AI-generated virtual human.
Esther Olofsson 3.0 will be officially launched on December 1, 2022 during the session 'Avatars & virtual humans: How to be virtually present' at Immersive Tech Week in Rotterdam. This unique step once again underlines the challenging position RAUWcc claims in the communication landscape.
A new beginning
'Every child leaves home sooner or later,' says Maarten Reijgersberg. 'So that also applies to me as the spiritual father of this quirky virtual lady. We feel that it is time for her to discover herself, so Esther is leaving not only the hands that made her but also her city and her old Instagram account.'
Playing with AI
From now on Esther's images on Instagram are now generated by artificial intelligence (AI). RAUWcc trained open-source text-to-image AI model Stable Diffiusion with a full 3D model of Esther to generate these images. And in royalty-free photos of real locations, Esther is placed with 'inpainting'. Movio is used for animating the still images and the lipsync that goes with it. Esther's voice was generated using Replica Studios and ChatGPT is used to caption these images.
All the agency still does is direct the story, input the prompts to put the systems to work, and post the content on Instagram. 'AI is going through a stormy development. It's moving at a rocky pace. It's no longer a question of what it can do next year, but what will be possible next week.'
That AI is learning so quickly must have implications for the creative profession, communication, and the value of text, design, and other human skills. 'That's why Esther Olofsson is such a valuable project for us. We don't earn anything from it yet, but it is playing with technology at the forefront of developments. By embracing and applying AI, we expect to use it for our clients later on. It may be hard to say in what form exactly, but we already see concrete opportunities for AI applications in the concept phase of campaigns and corporate identity projects.'
The world and beyond
'What will AI do to Esther? No idea! Of course, we'll steer her exploration at first. She will go to Scandinavia for a trip down memory lane and then she'll go all over the world. We are working hard on this storyline. But we also want to ask her followers to provide suggestions and tips on where to go. The great thing is, with AI, anything is possible. She can walk on Mars, be the center of a knight's duel in the Middle Ages or lead a revolution in 2525. Time, form, and place no longer play a role. And - who knows – soon, neither will we. That's how raw reality can be.'
The new Esther spreads her wings at @estherolofssonexplores.
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