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History Taught By The People Who Made It

Today the class will be interviewing Nikola Tesla.
  [vote for,

Deep fake technology is used to create a virtual replica of a person from history who appears before the class on a large TV monitor and announces "Hello, I'm a virtual representation of Nickola Tesla and after a brief review of my life and accomplishments I'll be taking questions."

This has been done with real people where recordings of several hours of questions from a group, typically a classroom full of kids asks questions of the real person who is then recorded answering that question. The video response is stored in a database for when that question is asked again, at which time the recorded video of the answer to that question is activated to play. The more questions asked of the real person, the more the recorded person can answer. Pretty cool.

This puts deep fake technology to work to bring people from history back to life. The same process is used but with an actor who's an expert on the subject. The actor of course doesn't need to answer in real time and a list of questions and answered could simply be recorded. The face of the historical figure is then superimposed upon the actor and the database of hours of answers is compiled so a virtual "live chat" with a person from history could be enjoyed by the class.

A fun objective for the class would be to ask an interesting question that might not be in the database triggering Nikola to say "Hmm, you know, I'm not sure, let me look into that." making the process if increasing the conversation database kind of fun and challenging for both the classes and the people programming the virtual history guy.

Now if I were in charge, I'd have the virtual historical figure well primed for dealing with smart ass questions like "So Nikola, homosayswhat?" to which Nik would smile and say "I don't have an answer for that but if science was easy we'd call it your mother.".

doctorremulac3, Nov 17 2020

Deep Fake Greetings cards for Dead Celebrities https://www.bbc.co....nment-arts-54731382
[zen_tom, Nov 18 2020]

Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0096928/
[zen_tom, Nov 18 2020]

Medical-grade coffee https://dilbert.com...content=strip-image
You know you need it. [8th of 7, Nov 18 2020]

Smallworld (2010) & Littlestar (2011), Dominic Green ... https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B074CFGRV2
Deep fake "personality analogs" used for education and entertainment [kdf, Nov 18 2020]

Smallworld, free download , Amazon UK link. https://www.amazon....ebook/dp/B004GNFMLO
[kdf, Nov 18 2020]

Conversational AI platforms https://shanebarker...ional-ai-platforms/
[kdf, Nov 18 2020]

Deep fake avatars https://www.techrep...education-outreach/
[kdf, Nov 18 2020]

Low tech approach from an old TV show. https://www.youtube...watch?v=hKRxZSOqAYw
[doctorremulac3, Nov 22 2020]

Coincidentally, in NY Times this weekend https://www.nytimes...e-people-faces.html
AI generated faces [kdf, Nov 22 2020]

The Who Was Show https://www.youtube...watch?v=JUZXlQis2k4
A contemporary take on the idea, for kids, with a bias slightly towards answering important questions of our time, like "Which of Einstein, Ghandi and Benjamin Franklin could throw the sickest moves on the dance-floor?" We are all probably doomed. [zen_tom, Nov 22 2020]


       Kind-of in-the-oven-but -not-actually-baked in the Holodeck scene where Data plays cards with Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein and the real Stephen Hawking (Factoid: The only real person ever to portray themselves in an episode of Star Trek) but we will award a croissant nonetheless.   

8th of 7, Nov 18 2020

       So, Donald, what really happened in the 2020 election?
pertinax, Nov 18 2020

       Actors in character teaching history - live* and in recorded media - is WKTE. The idea of using “deep fake” technology is not much of a stretch from there. And for use historical figures from any time before the advent of motion films, you’re probably better off with performers in decent costume and makeup - as you won’t have any good images to use for a digital recreation.   

* I chatted Ben Franklin several times at Greenfield Village back in the 1970’s. He told me the kite story was completely bogus.
kdf, Nov 18 2020

       [doc] +
whatrock, Nov 18 2020

       It might be a cool learning tool but open to propagand-ish embellishments, and asking VR Nikola how he amplified am radio waves to power a car remotely or how he intended free wireless transmission of electricity won't get any answers.   

       Hmm, now THAT is an insightful and interesting point 2 Fries. (might want to take notes kdf, rather than continuing your poorly thought out, cookie cutter MFD, WKTE nonsense.) Questions would have to take into consideration when the person lived. So the questions you suggested would not be answerable by an actual re-animated Tesla.   

       Hmm. Maybe you just use some artistic license and have the virtual person know about events that have happened since they’ve died. What WOULD Tesla say about wireless internet access, something he envisioned? The moon landing, streaming movies, video games etc?   

       And kdf, my idea would allow thousands of people to access hundreds of historical figures and interact with them at any time from any place. You’re suggesting it would be better to just have thousands of actors in makeup and ready to go on line 24 hours a day? It’s not a contest to see how many ideas you can shoot down. Think of this place as more friendly cocktail party and less Spanish Inquisition.
doctorremulac3, Nov 18 2020

       I am neutral on this.   

       If someone (say, [doctorremulac3]) were to bake this, for example by creating a virtual interactive Freud, and make it available to anyone who wanted to use it (for profit or not), I would not have a problem.   

       But in the context of a classroom, there is something that I'm going to call "the propaganda of the context", until I can find a better term for it, that comes into play.
spidermother, Nov 18 2020

       Well the creators are going to certainly have control over what Freud or Tesla or Einstein says, no way around that. But hopefully this would be largely encyclopedic in its contents and useful to teach about the person in an entertaining way.   

       There was a show on to a long time ago where the host would feature actors dressed as famous people from history that would sit around and discuss various subjects. I’ll find a link.
doctorremulac3, Nov 18 2020

       Well, hopefully doth butter no parsnips. The way I look at it, freedom to create content is a wonderful thing, but it needs to be balanced by freedom to take it or leave it. So my problem is not with your idea (go for it!), but with embedding it within an authoritarian structure and applying it to a captive audience.
spidermother, Nov 18 2020

       You could program these dead figures to say "Oh, and by the way, that Dr Remulac the Third is the most, most, most, most genius guy in the world" a- la Kim Kardashian's dad, but with a little more Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure style thrown in.
zen_tom, Nov 18 2020

       Well I’m definitely not smart enough to understand what that last anno was talking about. Got lost around the part about Kim Kardashian’s dad and Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.   

       Maybe one of us had a stroke and we’re writing or reading gibberish. I’m feeling Ok, how you feeling?
doctorremulac3, Nov 18 2020

       Links provided for what I had presumed to be both fairly mainstream references. The first being the recent usage of "deep fake" technology by Kanye West (that guy who ran for president this last year?) who made a deep fake to wish his wife happy birthday, famously putting not very humble words into her dead father's mouth.   

       And the second reference is Bill & Ted's excellent adventure where the eponymous duo learn about history by use of technology allowing them to have direct conversations with big-hitting historical celebs. So basically this idea, but with time travel instead of computerised mimicry.   

       Context so back-filled, hopefully you'll be able to catch up and vibe along, rather than conjour-up spurious health issues on either of our parts. Isn't it early where you are? Maybe a big old cup of coffee is in order.
zen_tom, Nov 18 2020

       Hmm, maybe we both had a stroke. That would make for an interesting conversation. “This is a bucket of butter with devil horns.” “There’s crisp toluene carrots on top of Bat-Rabbit,”   

       But stroke or not, coffee is always a good idea. I will accept that suggestion.
doctorremulac3, Nov 18 2020

       I always need at least 3 before my head-carriage starts working on anything other than the strictest of autopilots.
zen_tom, Nov 18 2020

       You clearly need medical-grade coffee <link>   

       // Hmm, maybe we both had a stroke. That would make for an interesting conversation. //   

       Furbying... sometimes, elderly people in care homes will strike up a "conversation" which consists of a rambling sequence of almost-but-not-quite non-sequiturs which can continue for surprisingly long times and is highly amusing to those posessed of a certain bleak sense of humour and lack of respect for the unfortunate.
8th of 7, Nov 18 2020

       //a rambling sequence of almost-but-not-quite non- sequiturs// [marked-for-tagline] and, welcome to the halfbakery!   

       (Could definitely do with some of that medical-grade coffee though - equally, I'd be happy with "industrial-strength")
zen_tom, Nov 18 2020

       Ahh, coffee. My morning reason to do the whole getting out of bed thing. Like meth but more acceptable if you're attending a fancy tuxedo and gown event.
doctorremulac3, Nov 18 2020

       Wearing a tuxedo with a gown is rather passé ... though it can look OK if the you get the shoes and handbag right.
8th of 7, Nov 18 2020

       Many historical figures are not considered child friendly. But I like the idea.
sninctown, Nov 18 2020

       "An Evening With Vlad Tepes" is probably going to pull in a fairly narrow - if enthusiastic - audience segment ...
8th of 7, Nov 18 2020

       Doc, as you mentioned mixing digital images over actors, that’s what I focused on first. If your main idea is an library of interactive historic characters who can be called up on demand - that’s a different focus.   

       You may have thought this up entirely on your own, but you’re not the first. As others pointed out, Star Trek and other fictional works touched on it. Dominic Green’s "Smallworld" and "Littlestar" series uses it as a central plot point (link).   

       Green develops the idea extensively. "Personality analogs” (as he calls them) are real-time interactive programs based on real or fictional characters, and are widely used for entertainment and education. They can run online, downloaded to your own entertainment system, played on holographic projectors, or installed into physical robots or even cloned humans. The catalog includes not only historical and mythological characters (ranging from Helen of Troy to 23rd century war heroes) but people sometimes make personality analogs of dead relatives - or even living ones - to have around for advice and comfort.
kdf, Nov 18 2020

       // even living ones - to have around for advice //   

       As in "Oh, you should have taken that slip-road to the junction ... you'll have to go back ..." ?
8th of 7, Nov 18 2020

       Almost. In an early chapter from the series, a young man is travelling on an trip, and he's wearing a pair of earbuds. A personality analog of his father is in one ear, and in the other he has an elder (for want of a better word) from his home world to advise him. The folks are back at home, but he carries on real time discussions (and arguments) with the analogs during the trip.   

Edit to add ... 8th, you might enjoy this series. The first book in the series is downloadable for free. It doesn't quite hold together as a novel - even as a collection of linked short stories it needed a good editor. But I think Green started writing it as a concept for a TV series, where continuity between episodes isn't as important.
kdf, Nov 18 2020

       //Wearing a tuxedo with a gown is rather passé ... though it can look OK if the you get the shoes and handbag right.//   

       As long as your not wearing white after Labor Day.   

       Kdf, something having been proposed in science fiction doesn't constitute it being baked. If I came up with an actual method of breaking up the atoms of a person and re-assembling them like the transporter in Star Trek, and it actually worked, you couldn't call it baked. Likewise, having a method of talking with historical figures explained by "It's like, the future and stuff, like with computers or whatever." isn't what I've proposed. This is something that could be done today with current technology. Note however, I of course don't watch new Star Treks where people engage in fantasy games rather than blowing up Klingons.   

       That being said, if somebody said they've invented an actual transporter that works, put a squirrel in a high tech looking box with wires and blinking lights and it evaporated in a puff of smoke, I'd ask to see the re- constituted squirrel. If they said "It's around here someplace." I'd be skeptical and would hold off investing until the little critter was found.
doctorremulac3, Nov 18 2020

       "...something having been proposed in science fiction doesn't constitute it being baked."
-doctorremulac3, Nov 18 2020

       No sir, it doesn't. But describing something here that has been well described in fiction elsewhere doesn't make it an original idea. In fact, the helpfile gives that as a specific reason to...   

       ... wait for it ...   

       ... call for deletion. And even if you disregard that, others will (and have) cheerfully come along to point out the references for you.   

       After all, what are friends for...?
kdf, Nov 18 2020

       To borrow money from, to get you home when you're intoxicated, and in extreme cases, help you dispose of the bodies.   

       Any other questions ?   

       // 8th, you might enjoy this series. //   

       Noted for immediate action.
8th of 7, Nov 18 2020

       Ooh, I don't want to spoil it for you ... but let me know if the con-man reminds you of Harry Mudd. And I hope you enjoy the idea of a historical figure's personality analog accidentally getting uploaded into a combat-robot, going berserk, and killing people in varied nasty ways... Should be right up your alley.
kdf, Nov 18 2020

       //describing something here that has been well described in fiction elsewhere doesn't make it an original idea.//   

       OK, you can't be that dumb. So if I invent an actual transporter, that is, the method to take a human, turn them into some kind of energy beam, transport them across space and re-assemble them you're saying it can't be patented because of prior art of some writer saying that would be a neat idea if somebody figured out how to do it? FIGURING OUT HOW TO DO IT IS AN ORIGINAL IDEA! Sheesh!   

       We had this guy once upon a time who used to mark everything for deletion and like you, was never right, just obsessed with erasing people's ideas for some reason. Finally went away thank god. Do you see yourself as some kind of chief judge of this place so you'll look smart? It's not working, you're looking really dumb.   

       And does it make you feel good to have somebody go "Oh fuck, not this asshole again."? when they see you post on their ideas? I'm just not sure what you're hoping to accomplish.
doctorremulac3, Nov 18 2020

       You haven't presented or "figured out how to do" anything new here. If you ever offered a detailed (or even half-baked) way to do full-up interactive teaching avatars beyond what others are already working on - that would be really cool.
kdf, Nov 18 2020

       Good, show me where somebody's taken deep fake technology and made interactive people with it activating a database of standardized answers to common questions so you can have conversations with people who don't currently exist. I won't explain how it's done again because I've made that clear enough that even you would understand it if you were to read beyond the first sentence for a change.   

       This requires a link, not a confused, rambling, nonsensical diatribe.   

       We always do this then you run away, which is fine, but you always come back, which is not.
doctorremulac3, Nov 18 2020

       Show me where you have presented "how" to do that.
kdf, Nov 18 2020

       I've made it clear in the idea but I'll dumb it down so even you MIGHT understand.   

       1- Take the already proven method of recording a person answering questions and putting those video clips in a database to be activated when those questions are asked again.   

       Do you understand step 1? That's a yes or no.
doctorremulac3, Nov 18 2020

       You mean like automated voice response systems, chatbots, deep fake avatars? No, nobody's ever done that except for the companies that already have. Do you have a even a half-baked way to advance the current state of the art?
kdf, Nov 18 2020

       So you won't answer the question? Do you understand that I referred to it as the ALREADY PROVEN METHOD?   

       So when you say "It's already a proven method so you're wrong about referring to an already proven method." see how stupid you sound?   

       OK, you won't answer direct questions, which to your credit is probably a good idea from your standpoint, so I'll just wrap it up by saying this is mixing a couple of already proven methods that achieve something that as far as I know hasn't been accomplished a before.   

       If it has, I'm sure you'll provide the link so get to work. Somebody talking to a virtual Abe Lincoln for instance, asking him questions, getting direct answers and no cuts between shots because this is a computer simulation not simply a bunch of video clips. And it's not crappy AI, it's a real person talking and generating all the subtle facial expressions that go along with an actual human communicating actual ideas with actual words.   

       So let me see the link, get to work. No more talking. Links. Go.
doctorremulac3, Nov 18 2020

       Sorry doc, you lost me. Your "new" idea is to suggest an advance on something that already exists - and those same advances have been suggested by others and widely depicted in fiction for years. But you haven't explained how you will bake those advances, any more than any of those fictional depictions do. Still not seeing anything new here.
kdf, Nov 18 2020

       I know you don't.   

       But if it wasn't new, all you would have had to do is put up the link of it being done, but you can't, because it hasn't. Now you're doing that weasel move of yours where since you can't find a link of it being done, you try to change the allegation. "It's not that it's been done, it's that the parts of this concept are already out there, though not put together yet." You've changed my assertion to "These parts to this are ALL new, I though of them." despite my making it perfectly clear in the description the I referred to existing technologies and practices. Their being put together as I've CLEARLY described is what I'm suggesting is a new idea. A way to achieve something that's been referred to in science fiction that has yet to be achieved in reality using various existing technologies put together in this manner for the first time to achieve this. THAT'S what's new.   

       Unless it's been done before exactly as I've described, but you would have found a link of that chat with Aristotle by now if it had because I know you've been furiously searching.   

       So thank you for doing my research for me. That'll be all. Dismissed.
doctorremulac3, Nov 18 2020

       This is a question of whether a computational consciousness chatbot can be constructed from an encompassing biography data set, to give answers close to the target person's answers. I doubt the data set can be large enough especially the further back in time the person lived. Modern meal posting celebs might be different.
wjt, Nov 21 2020

       No doubt programming these things to be useful would be a challenge. You'd basically be talking to a virtual, synthetic expert on the person and let's face it, this would rely pretty heavily on the fact that nobody's actually heard Aristotle speak.   

       That being said, it might be worth trying.   

       Here's a low tech approach to the idea I used to watch sometimes when I was a kid. (link) They just use artistic licence and a little humor to address the stuff that happened after their time. Teddy Rosevelt saying he thought his Mount Rushmore representation made him look fat for instance.
doctorremulac3, Nov 22 2020

       (re link) //"Which of Einstein, Ghandi and Benjamin Franklin could throw the sickest moves on the dance-floor?" We are all probably doomed.//   

       I appreciate your optimism by putting "probably" in that sentence.
doctorremulac3, Nov 22 2020


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