Have you heard the acronym ‘PAI’ yet? It’s one to remember, standing for Personal Artificial Intelligences: digital avatars based on real people, with AI technology powering their interactions with humans.

Gizmodo has an interesting profile of a startup called Oben which is working on this technology. “This startup, with its 100 plus employees, is betting that in the future, everyone will want their own PAIs—to digitally try on clothes, to interact with friends, to keep the kids company while you’re away on a business trip,” it claims. “In that future, celebrities will create PAIs to interact with fans to promote their latest films and albums. Teachers and doctors will have PAIs that offer personalised services to their students and patients. When you go to the mall, PAIs will pop up on the interactive screens there, enticing you to buy stuff.”

It sounds a little like a Black Mirror episode, but the ‘celebrities will create PAIs to interact with fans’ aspect is what we think is worth following. Oben has already created PAIs for Chinese girl-band SNH48 (you can see the results in this music video). The article explains how the process of creating these entities works.

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