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SYFY WIRE Artificial Intelligence

CES 2021: A virtual, AI-powered human handled presenting duties for LG’s tech showcase

By Benjamin Bullard
LG Virtual Human

The Consumer Electronics Showcase (aka CES) is here once again, and as always, it’s bringing out the tech companies’ most personable presenters: people whose job is to get us all excited about the ways technology are about to improve our lives (like having a personal robot waiter roll up and pour your wine).

One company took that idea an AI-assisted step further this year, sneakily inserting a completely fake, artificial intelligent “human” as one of the presenters in its socially-distanced online video showcase. LG Electronics’ taped press conference featured an all-digital woman named Reah Keem, whose only cue to being made of 1s and 0s is the separate press release LG issued to shed some insight on her human-sounding backstory.

Scroll to the 22:15 marker in the video below to get acquainted with Reah, a 20-something social influencer (no, really, she has 6,000 Instagram followers) and music producer.

Other than some “designed by LG” fine print, the company didn’t play up Reah’s digitized origins during the event. And so long as you aren’t cued to look for it, you’ll likely be hard pressed to call her out on a lack of corporeal street cred. Sporting a low-key, just-doin’-my-thing personality and a pink hoodie with “Stay Punk Forever” graphics, Reah chats about the bummers of trying to make it as a DJ under travel restrictions, and kickin’ it in the studio to lay down some dope beats.

She’s also pretty excited (of course) to talk about LG’s new CLOi UV-C robot line, the real reason she was there in the first place. The robot itself is a pretty neat piece of tech. It’s an untethered mobile unit that rolls around the room, blasting a radius of virus-smashing UV light everywhere it goes to help sanitize high-traffic work areas. Just think of it as a robo-vacuum cleaner with a UV light tower on its head, and you’ll be somewhere in the ballpark.

We’re not sure if LG has plans to blow up Reah’s influencer status in the future, but in addition to her thousands of followers, she’s also got an actual song at SoundCloud. Every aspiring star has to start somewhere, and landing your first presenter gig as an AI — even if it’s only to promote one of your tech-y robot cousins — isn’t a bad beginning.