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This article was published on January 12, 2021

Who needs humans? LG had a ‘virtual influencer’ unveil devices at its CES keynote

Who needs humans? LG had a ‘virtual influencer’ unveil devices at its CES keynote
Ivan Mehta
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Ivan Mehta

Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh." Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh."

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, all companies are hosting their events virtually. So, why not use a virtual human to announce the product too? LG did just that in its CES keynote last night.

The Korean tech company used a virtual influencer called Reah Keem, a DJ and a travel junkie, to announce LG‘s new CLOi robot for disinfecting surfaces. She also announced the 2021 line of the company’s lightweight Gram laptop and Ultrafind OLED Pro 4K monitor for creative folks.

While she talked about these products, Keem also said that just like us, she missed traveling for gigs. The presentation was smooth and glitch-free, but you could tell that it’s a virtual avatar speaking to us, and not a human. Check out this video below to see LG’s virtual avatar present its products.

To make her influencer persona more plausible, Keem has an Instagram account and a SoundCloud page as well. What we don’t know at the moment is that if LG created this AI or used a third-party service.

AI-powered avatars are being more common at events lately. China uses these virtual humans in their news broadcasts and TV festivals. Korea and Japan also have a thriving culture of artificially created celebrities. However, this is the first time we’ve seen a major tech company use one of them for keynote presentations, and it could suggest we might see more of these.

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