You can now create an AI clone of yourself — or anyone else, living or dead — with Delphi

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My favorite episode of the hit sci-fi/horror TV series black mirror There’s “Be Right Back,” which premiered 10 years ago and features a woman who clones her dead ex-boyfriend and uses a service that analyzes his social media posts and texts to recreate his personality.

The episode seemed outlandish but plausible at the time in 2013 — after all, many of us were already leaving extensive digital communication trails with our smartphones and computers.

Today, actually is It is possible, at least in digital form. Startup Delphi, founded in the US but named after the ancient Greek soothsayer and knowledge dispenser, is announcing $2.7M in funding and its new AI digital cloning service.

Just upload four documents containing your communications to it — and thousands more, including emails, chat transcripts, even audio files like YouTube videos or podcasts or voicemails — and Delphi will create an AI chatbot that closely mimics it. Through a partnership with voice-cloning startup ElevenLabs, to date, your personality, writing or speaking will be heard.


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You can then deploy your AI clone on a website, in Slack, or connect it to a phone number to answer calls and discuss with the caller on your behalf.

Delphi also tries to recreate your unique thought processes in your clone, to the extent that it can, based on your responses to given prompts.

“We hope to be more optimistic than that black mirror Definitely,” said Dara Ladjevardian, founder and CEO of Delphi, in an exclusive interview with VentureBeat. “We hope to see the optimistic side of this technology rather than the fearful side.”

Some big-name investors are optimistic about Delphi’s work: the new funding round was led by OpenStore CEO Keith Rabois and general partner of Founders Fund (founder, backer of the intelligence software company Palantir, a well-known venture firm founded by controversial VC Peter Thiel). The lawsuit that destroyed Gawker and made headlines discussing the promise of young blood transplants to reverse aging), and involved Lux ​​Capital, XFund, MVP Ventures and SaxCap. Other angel investors backing Delphi include the founders of AngelList, EtSleep and Solent.

As seen in the screenshot below, Rabois has already cloned himself.

Screenshot of Keith Rabois’s AI digital clone created with Delphi. Credit: Delphi

Clone anyone from celebrities to loved ones

Not interested in digitally cloning yourself? Delphi also works on other people: For now, the company does not restrict the ability to create clones of anyone, living or dead, without the user’s permission.

Want to clone your ex and restart your relationship, at least the communication part? You can do that if you get their writing or speaking samples and upload them.

Want to clone the late Steve Jobs or the still alive Elon Musk? Delphi allows you to do this if you pull data from the public Internet, such as interviews from news outlets or YouTube videos. Delphi has cloned the “Oracle of Omaha” and legendary investor Warren Buffett for its internal use.

“If (Buffet) ever said to me, ‘Dara, take it down,’ I’d take it down, I’d respect that,” Ladjevardian said.

In fact, Delphi has already used its AI software to clone several famous people – Steve Jobs; Jeff Bezos, Robert Oppenheimer; Estee Lauder; philosophers including Socrates, Lao-Tzu, and Aristotle; All US Presidents living and dead; and others (Delphi’s website features a collage of photos with magazine magnate Anna Wintour and former Chicago Bulls basketball player Michael Jordan).

While Delphi previously allowed early users to converse with these clones in chatbot form during the beta launch of its software, it appears that they are no longer publicly available online.

As for people cloning other people to impersonate loved ones, exes or famous people to defraud or commit a crime, Ladjevardian admitted to VentureBeat: “We don’t have any railings against that, so we have to figure it out to a large extent.”

Ladjevardian told VentureBeat that Delphi has already received a takedown request from noted physician and podcast host Peter Attia, and has accordingly removed its rejected AI clone.

The technology behind Delphi’s AI clone

A screenshot of Delphi’s Digital AI Cloning Studio created by Delphi’s founding designer Martin Amiri. Credit: Mateen Amiri/Delphi

Delphi’s digital cloning software began with the heart and soul of a second-generation immigrant Ladjewardian reconnecting with his deceased grandfather, an entrepreneur in Iran before the 1979 Iranian Revolution that radically changed the government from a secular monarchy to a theocracy.

When OpenAI released its GPT-3 Large Language Model (LLM) in the summer of 2020, Ladjevardian was working as a software engineer at C3 AI, an enterprise-focused AI software application platform company with customers in government, oil and gas.

“I was like, ‘Wow, this is really going to change things,'” Ladjevardian recalled to VentureBeat. “So I should dedicate my life to this, because I think there will be a lot of opportunities here.”

Ladjevardian quit his job at C3 AI and founded his first company, Friday, an AI-based shopping assistant that offers product recommendations to people in a conversational format.

At the time, he was reading a book about his grandfather that he found enlightening, but Ladjewardian wished he could really communicate with the man about his experiences, ask him questions, and rely on him as a never-elderly mentor. As a lonely, second-generation Iranian immigrant in Houston, Texas.

Taking GPT-3 and using open-source embeddings — the information AI uses to create meaning and organization — “I cloned it using his book and treated it as my own personal guide as I built it. startup,” Ladjevardian said.

The experiment worked, at least on a personal level: Ladjevardian sold the startup for profit and moved to Miami to work for Rabois’ OpenStore, where he leaned on Rabois as a mentor and continued to develop ideas and technologies for digital AI clones. eventually leading him to build Delphi.

Use cases and earnings

Using AI to create clones as personal guides is a great idea for those looking for that kind of guidance in life, but how can it scale as a business?

Ladjevardian and his staff at Delphi are convinced there’s a market for this kind of software, especially for people who already make a living passing on their knowledge to others — thought coaches, influencers, creators and business leaders.

“We’re focusing on coaches, creators, experts, politicians, CEOs — people with high intellectual leverage — scaling ourselves and making ourselves available to others,” Ladjevardian said.

Delphi isn’t yet publicly listing its pricing structures, as it’s still tinkering and iterating on the best way to monetize its software, but Ladjevardian said the company is considering collecting monthly subscription payments to host digital clones of people and how much they use. of their audience on that clone, such as how many messages the clone will send. Adding voice capability and a dedicated phone to this plan will cost extra.

Already, more than 100 individuals have created digital clones of themselves in Delphi’s private beta, including Grammy-award winning creator IlMind, whose clone provides text-based feedback and general career and life guidance.

“We’re focusing on capturing someone’s mind and relaying that through text and voice,” Ladjevardian explained.

Of course, Ladjewardian has also cloned himself and had audio conversations with his clones.

“I called myself and talked to myself for 10 minutes and it was weirdly therapeutic,” he said.

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