January 9, 2024

Is AI going to kill authenticity?

Will AI kill authenticity? Short answer -- no. Long answer -- quite the opposite.
Our world is quickly becoming dominated by Generative AI. It’s revolutionizing the way we create and consume talking head videos (a singular person talking directly to camera). Tools like Hour One and Synthesia generate talking head avatar videos effortlessly, and soon we’ll be consuming much more generated avatar and deepfake content. In business, we already see more of these talking head avatar videos sell or convey information. There are many effective use cases for these videos.  
However, when the objective of a video is to develop a strong connection between the person in the video and the person watching the video (e.g. a therapist introducing herself and inviting clients to book a session, or a lawyer explaining the approach of his practice), talking head avatar videos are destined to fail. Why? Because there's something AI can't replicate or replace: people’s need for real, genuine and authentic human connection and trust.
And yet, as time passes by and AI gets better, it will be increasingly difficult to distinguish between talking head videos of real people and of avatars. So, why can’t we let ourselves fall for generated avatars in videos?
Sure, some people marry a video game or even their car, and find alternatives to human relationships. But most people seek and react to authentic human connection. People want to connect with one another in the real (or the digital) world knowing the person they are communicating with is looking for a meaningful connection, and truly cares about the relationship.  
Talking head avatar videos will never be as effective at forming human connection for the following reasons:
1. Implications on trust and ethics: Humans look to connect with people who have integrity. Even if a person can generate a very accurate talking head avatar video of themselves, it’d still be a misleading representation of themselves. Authentic content adheres to ethical guidelines and is rooted in truth and accountability, which is crucial for reliable connections and relationships.  
2. Intention matter: Viewers care that the person in front of the camera put in thought and effort. The intention matters. By recording oneself, people recognize that this person is willing to be vulnerable in front of the camera, in order to form a real connection with the viewers. Moreover, someone who’s willing to invest effort in the initial connection is likely to continue investing in the long-term relationship.  
3. People are human: In authentic and real talking head videos, people don't come off as 'perfect'; they never say, move or do things 'perfectly'. This is good, as it makes the content more trustworthy and less robotic. However, since Gen AI works based on tons of data, it’s unlikely to create content with human-characterized imperfections. People can recognize when something is too ‘perfect’ or not exactly human, and it evokes the negative emotions associated with the uncanny valley phenomenon. And, even if Gen AI is programmed to deliberately generate imperfections in a talking head video, it won’t be able to replicate the authentic imperfections of a specific person into the avatar, unless, ironically, that real person puts time and effort into recording themselves, in order to train the AI data/model.  
Ultimately, the difference between avatar and real people videos is clear by simply asking yourself – would you book an appointment with a therapist or lawyer who used an AI generated avatar to introduce themselves? Would you feel you truly trust this person, know who they are, and what they stand for? Most would prefer the provider who didn’t outsource their vulnerability to an AI avatar.
And yet, with time, more providers will be tempted to create inauthentic talking head avatar videos of themselves, as it becomes easier to do so -- especially in a world where recording authentic and professional videos is expensive and time consuming.
But AI’s future is not so bleak. The world is not getting rid of real and authentic talking head videos. AI is going to increase the number of non-authentic videos, but it will also help create more authentic videos. A lot more. That’s our mission at TakeOne.  
Until recently, it’s been hard to be able to present yourself confidently and professionally in a real talking head video without spending tons of money on experts to help or spending significant time to learn filmmaking techniques. Even when data shows that talking head videos for service providers greatly increases client conversion, the fear of making an amateur video results in people often avoiding making a talking head video completely to not come off as unprofessional.

TakeOne solves this challenge. Our product brings together the best of both worlds -- the ease and magic of AI with the authenticity and integrity of creating your own video -- to create real, strong connections. Our AI-powered technology is an end-to-end solution that enables anyone, anywhere to record an authentic and professional talking head video quickly and easily. The product completely replaces the need for an expensive camera, lighting, film crew, and any technical setup.

And, while advances in AI enable more generated talking head avatar videos that potentially delude viewers with inauthentic content, TakeOne is taking a stand. Our videos will serve as the authenticity stamp of approval. In a world full of generated AI content, people will know that TakeOne videos are of real people who recorded themselves with the intention of developing a real connection with their viewers.
Sooner or later, technologies like TakeOne will influence more people to make authentic videos, helping grow their businesses. And the eventual, exponential growth in professional authentic videos will dramatically change the way we find service providers, hire employees, and communicate online.

Daniel Sorochkin

Co-Founder and CEO
January 9, 2024