Tencent is Selling Custom Deepfake Virtual Humans for $145
Chinese tech giant Tencent has begun selling custom deepfake virtual humans for $145. The “Deepfake-as-a-Service” is created with generative AI in just 24 hours and can be based on anyone as long as they have them on film for three minutes and speaking 100 sentences in Chinese or English.
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Tencent’s product page for digital humans includes options to match the user’s preferences. They can purchase the full digital body or just the top half and can pick from different artistic styles, with two and three-dimensional versions of “realistic” and “cartoon” styles or a three-dimensional “semirealistic” variation. The background setting and vocal tone of the virtual human can also be adjusted and set up for a video or linked to a database to enable the AI to answer questions. Tencent envisions these virtual beings as a step along the way toward a self-service “AI+ Digital Intelligent Human Factory” platform.
While the company pitches the virtual beings as useful for marketing and advertising purposes, there’s no indication that you must prove you are making a virtual version of yourself or someone who has given you permission, and it’s not clear what safeguards Tendcent has put in place. That said, China has recently issued new deepfake regulations mandating the subject give their consent and that the virtual being have an indicator marking their deepfake status. The platforms must also have a way of confirming online identities and set up a system to respond to reports of suspicious deepfake content.
Tencent’s offer does stand out for its speed and price point, but custom deepfake creations are becoming increasingly common. Virtual being developer Synthesia will build a custom deepfake avatar but charges $1,000 per avatar for a yearly subscription, not an outright purchase. And synthetic media startup D-ID can create a digital replica of someone within a few minutes on its Creative Reality Studio, even producing videos from a single photo. Subscriptions vary in price based on how long you want your videos to be, $6 to $300 a month. Other companies have built deepfake clones of real people, but only for specific projects Hour One’s Taryn Southern and Dom Esposito clones or the virtual Jack Nicklaus built by Soul Machines.
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