Alibaba’s Joe Tsai Showcases AI-generated Actress at BEYOND Expo

The third BEYOND International Technology Innovation Expo began in China on May 10 with the theme “Technology Redefined.” During the event, Joe Tsai, executive vice-chairman of Alibaba Group, showcased an AI-generated actress named Leah to demonstrate the potential of AI-generated content (AIGC) and its revolutionary impact on the entertainment industry.

Leah, the first AI-generated actress under Alibaba Digital Media & Entertainment Group, has collaborated with various brands including Intel, MLB, Samsung and Netflix. She has helped these brands establish a closer connection with young users through endorsements, live streaming, digital collectibles and other forms of marketing. Leah’s previous collaboration with Suzume – a Japanese animated fantasy adventure film – provided innovative marketing models while offering novel sensory experiences to the audience.

During a video demonstration, Joe Tsai showcased Leah’s endorsement of the MLB World Series from last year. He emphasized that generative AI is disrupting the digital entertainment industry by significantly reducing the time it takes to generate promotional materials. In the past, creating a poster for a large movie campaign would take an entire day, but now it only takes an hour. At the conference, Joe Tsai expressed his interest in this development and stated that with ChatGPT’s launch last year, generative AI will become a crucial factor in transforming the technology industry. He specifically highlighted its importance in online retail and e-commerce fields.

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Joe Tsai commented on the performance of AI in the creative field, stating that while it is uncertain whether machines will surpass human intelligence, they cannot replicate certain human instincts such as hunger and desires, or face-to-face interaction.

This year’s BEYOND International Technology Innovation Expo is centered around three key themes: “sustainable development”, “life sciences”, and “consumer technology”. Several enterprises, including AEROFUGIA, a drone manufacturer, XAG, an agriculture drone service provider, iFlytek, an intelligent speech and AI company, and China State Construction Engineering have unveiled their latest products at the event.