Herzog and Žižek become uncanny AI bots trapped in endless conversation

Enlarge / AI-generated portraits of Werner Herzog and Slavoj Žižek from The Infinite Conversation. (credit: Giacomo Miceli / Ars Technica)

This week, an Italian artist and programmer named Giacomo Miceli debuted The Infinite Conversation website, an AI-powered nonstop chat between artificial versions of German director Werner Herzog and Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek, complete with realistic voices.

Upon visiting the site—which is unaffiliated with either person—you’ll see AI-generated charcoal portraits of the two men in profile. Between them, a transcript of AI-generated text is highlighted in yellow as AI-generated voices simulating those of Herzog or Žižek read through it. The conversation goes back and forth between them, complete with distinct accents, and you can skip between each segment by clicking the arrows beneath the portraits.

Its creator positions the site as social commentary on audio deepfakes and upcoming technologies that may undermine trust in media in the near future. “This project aims to raise awareness about the ease of using tools for synthesizing a real voice,” Miceli writes on the site. “Right now, any motivated fool can do this with a laptop in their bedroom.”

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