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Taiwanese musician taps AI to bring back late daughter for her mom’s birthday

[Source]

A Taiwanese musician harnessed artificial intelligence (AI) to digitally recreate his deceased daughter to deliver a message for her mother's birthday.

The video: Tino Bao, 56, posted the AI video of his late daughter, Bao Rong, who also went by her English name Felicity, on Facebook in January. It shows a younger version of her telling her mother in Mandarin, “Mommy, happy birthday. I really miss you. I hope you will always be happy and pretty," before singing "Happy Birthday" to her.

What happened: Felicity died in 2021 from aplastic anemia, a rare condition in which the bone marrow fails to produce enough blood cells for the body. She was 22 years old.

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Speaking to Taiwanese media outlet Future City in February, Bao recalled how painful it was for their family to watch their daughter suffer through her hospitalization. After her death, he said they found comfort in the belief that she was no longer in pain, but they still struggled to let go.

How they recreated her: The digital Felicity came to life after Bao approached a friend who works on 3D holographic projection technology in China. He asked if it was possible to “resurrect” his daughter in the digital world.

Bao said the visuals came easy as he has plenty of photos of his daughter. The challenge was recreating her voice, since he only had one recording of her speaking from a video call with her mother. In it, she spoke three sentences in English. The background noises were also loud.

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They overcame the obstacle after Bao applied his expertise in music production by adjusting Felicity’s voiceprint and reducing the background noises.

What people are saying: Several Weibo users approved of Bao’s use of AI. One user wrote, “AI technology should be used in this kind of situation, not for deception.”

Another noted, “I think this should be the true meaning of AI's existence.”

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Meanwhile, others likened Bao’s AI video to films that have similar concepts, such as Andy Lau’s 2023 movie “The Wandering Earth II” and the living paintings in the “Harry Potter” movies.

 

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