D-ID, the Israeli startup behind Deep Nostalgia, announced today that it’s launching the beta version of its new web app that allows users to talk face-to-face with photorealistic AI. The web app, called chat.D-ID, combines D-ID’s text-to-video streaming technology with OpenAI’s ChatGPT to make conversations with AI more accessible.
The startup’s CEO and co-founder, Gil Perry, told TechCrunch that D-ID believes giving ChatGPT a voice and face will allow more people to use the technology, as people who can’t read and write will now be able to converse with AI. Another goal of the chat.D-ID to make it easier for elderly people to use AI. The company believes its new web app opens up access to ChatGPT more widely.
“The app is an easier way to use the power of AI and converse with ChatGPT,” Perry said. “We are wired to communicate with faces, we understand the situation better when we do. We feel more comfortable and we can observe complex information better when we’re in what feels like a real scenario. Video is more effective than text, so the app increases the power of large language models by adding a face.”
When you open up the web app on a desktop or mobile device, you’ll be greeted by an avatar named “Alice.” You can then choose to either type out a question or click the microphone icon to say your query out loud. D-ID notes that Alice can answer almost anything. You can ask Alice to simulate a job interview or even host your family’s trivia night. Given that the web app is still in the beta phase, it’s not perfect.
The web app will soon offer a variety of present avatars that users will be able to choose from. Users will also have the ability to upload any image of their choice. However, you won’t be able to upload images of celebrities or public figures, Perry notes. In a few weeks, the web app will let users generate a character, such as Dumbledore from Harry Potter, and talk to them. Perry believes that having the right face when conversing with AI is important. For example, if an elementary school student wants to learn about quantum physics, they can change the application’s face to that of Albert Einstein.
People can use chat.D-ID for free, but Perry notes that if the web app takes off and becomes too much for the startup to handle on its own, the company may start charging users for it. Perry notes that D-ID is ready for the application to go viral, and that the goal is to keep it free.
Some may find the new web app a bit creepy, and D-ID is aware of that. However, Perry argues that humans will one day be using AI in their day-to-day lives, and that D-ID believes that giving AI a face will make it easier for people to communicate with the technology.
When Microsoft incorporated ChatGPT-like capabilities within Bing last month, the tech giant faced some backlash after users received unnerving and disturbing responses from the search engine. D-ID believes that it won’t face a similar situation because OpenAI has improved its ChatGPT API and added guardrails. Although D-ID says it doesn’t take any responsibility for the responses provided Alice, it has incorporated safeguards within its web app, as users won’t be able to upload pornographic or violent images.
The launch of the new consumer app comes a week after D-ID rolled out a chat API for enterprises for branding and customer experience purposes. Text chatbots are a popular way for consumers to interact with brands, and D-ID notes that this represents a possible use for its new API, as it would allow brands to engage with customers through a more personal and interactive experience.
The company’s latest developments come as D-ID and a number of other companies, including Adobe and OpenAI, announced their involvement in a framework for the ethical and responsible development, creation and sharing of synthetic media.
Since its launch a few months ago, Open AI’s ChatGPT has dominated the internet and become increasingly popular. As a result, AI has become an increasingly trending topic over the past few months, so it’s not surprising that D-ID is looking to add a layer of realism to the technology.
D-ID also announced today that it’s launching a campaign to use generative AI to strengthen global online support for victims of domestic violence alongside Spring ACT, a nonprofit organization. Microsoft is supporting the campaign, which leverages Microsoft Azure AI’s text-to-speech capabilities and Azure AI cloud infrastructure.