Deepfakes Wow the Judges at AGT Finals
Metaphysic and Respeecher combined forces to bring back young Elvis
Metaphysic received another standing ovation on America’s Got Talent (AGT) this evening for its most ambitious presentation to date. I commented last week that the move to put deepfake technology on AGT was brilliant. This evening’s performance solidified the point.
Securing a spot on AGT was a brilliant move by Metaphysic for obvious reasons. It gained far more exposure for the business and deepfake technology (which they like to call hyper-realism these days) at a level Shark Tank could never equal. It was also a brilliant move by AGT. The deepfake acts are like none that has come before.
Simon Cowell said after this evening’s performance, “This, in my opinion, is probably the most incredible, original act we’ve ever had…You are so creative you are going to have your own show in Vegas. There’s no question about it.”
From Feature to Center Stage
Deepfake technology and synthetic media more broadly are so new that people are still discovering its best applications. Virtual humans may one day staff all contact centers, but the first round of adoption looks to be driven by training, information sharing, customer engagement, and e-commerce. AI image generators are now being used to generate background images for TikTok creators. Large language models are used to write software code. None of these were the first application ideas that came to mind when these technologies arrived.
When the Star Wars franchise wanted to de-age Mark Hamil and present a young Luke Skywalker, deepfake face swap and voice cloning were features of a broader VFX suite. Metaphysic’s AGT performance this evening showed that deepfake technology could be the central element of the entertainment product.
From time to time, studios need an actor de-aged or brought back to life for a few movie scenes. Advertisers also have needs that could benefit from deepfakes. Watch the video above. You indeed could create an entire Vegas show out of what Metaphysic put together. The show concept practically writes itself. This is a large group of Vegas tourists that love to watch those “vintage” acts that were popular in their youth. Now, you can even have acts where the performers have passed away.
A New Revenue Model
Just in case you are wondering about whether a software company would consider the money-making opportunity in Las Vegas large enough, consider the haul taken in by Celine Dion. The Hollywood Reporter says that Billboard Boxscore estimates that Dion sold $681 million in tickets over 16 years. That is $42.5 million per year.
Let’s say the act is only half as popular as Dion. That makes it a $20 million revenue line item. And, you don’t have to pay big stars to perform. You can have multiple casts, so the show goes on even if the principal is ill. Maybe you update the performance every year, but once it is set, you deploy the technology once.
A company like Veritone or Lucasfilm could have purchased Metaphysic six months ago for something in the low eight figures. No longer. The company, along with its competitors, are going to be sought after to create entirely new entertainment concepts. Beyond Las Vegas shows, you have television series, comedy specials, and feature films.
Will it all work out? Who knows. Hollywood is even more fickle than the consumers it serves. However, AGT opened up an entirely new business opportunity for Metaphysic that few suspected was viable or even considered. The audience loved it, and the audience has money to spend.