Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors
Who's In This Podcast
Helen Todd is co-founder and CEO of Sociality Squared and the human behind Creativity Squared.
Helen 2.ODD, pronounced “Helen two point odd,” is a custom synthetic avatar in the digital likeness of Helen Todd, the human and creator of Creativity Squared. #Helen2ODD

E14. Not Deepfaked! Meet My Digital Clone Helen 2.ODD

Up Next
Ep15. Sara Horowitz: Build the A.I. Future We Want with Mutualism

E14. Not Deepfaked! I Cloned Myself! Meet Helen 2.ODD, My Digital Double. Discover How I Made My A.I.-Created Custom Synthetic Avatar

“Have you ever wanted to clone yourself? Now you can with the help of artificial intelligence!”

This is a very special week on Creativity Squared, where we introduce my custom synthetic avatar, who is the digital likeness of myself, the human and creator of Creativity Squared. If you’ve listened to Ep.5 with Jon Tota titled “Custom Synths Are Here” or follow Creativity Squared on social media, the wait is finally over. Say hello to Helen 2.ODD!

Who Is Helen 2.ODD?

Helen 2.ODD came into existence and was delivered on Friday, July 21, 2023, and was generated by using my videos and vocal clones to render a custom synthetic avatar. Now that she is created, to make her come to life, I simply feed her a script, pick out a background, and have her rendered, and voilá, there she is (and speaks eight languages)!

“The thing I’ve enjoyed most since having my synthetic avatar is seeing people’s reactions after watching a video with her in it.”

Helen 2.ODD sounds like me because she uses my voice clone. And my digital twin looks like me too, of course! To really see how photo-realistic this avatar is, you do have to see it online for yourself. Some may assume she would resemble a cartoonish game avatar, but the resemblance to my human appearance really is uncanny (my own sister-in-law couldn’t believe that it wasn’t me!)

To see what she looks like, visit CreativitySquared.com or the Creativity Squared YouTube channel. 

Then after two weeks, Helen 2.ODD was digitally delivered and ready to be rendered into videos! 

Is Helen 2.ODD a Deep Fake?

No! It’s important to note that I own all of the intellectual property associated with Helen 2.ODD, so she is not a deep fake. In fact, she is quite unique in being one of the first of her kind in the upcoming market of digital avatars.

“There are less than a thousand known custom synths in existence as of this recording.”

Custom synthetic avatars like this are part of a massive (and growing!) digital avatar market alongside stock avatars. Following A.I. trends and growth, this isn’t surprising. Especially considering digital avatars can do things humans can’t do, like create multiple videos simultaneously and speak more languages often than their human counterparts do. I only speak English whereas right now my digital avatar can speak eight languages! And as the technology improves, she will be able to speak even more languages.

“How Does it Feel to Be Cloned?”

For those that have already been introduced to Helen 2.ODD, they have all asked how it feels to be cloned.

I have a lot of thoughts on this, but first it’s important to emphasize that Creativity Squared is all about how creatives are collaborating with artificial intelligence and when it makes sense, we put A.I. to use in the production of the show.

In fact, 60% of the costs of this show go towards the people and team behind-the-scenes who make Creativity Squared possible. 

“We [Creativity Squared] first and foremost support humans and take the stance that all A.I. tools should amplify human creativity and potential, and never replace it.”

My reaction when I first saw my digital clone was that of hearing your own voice outside of your head for the first time. It’s a little funny and sounds like you, but it’s not you, and in this case, it’s a cloned version of me. I do see Helen 2.ODD more as an animated digital puppet of myself that can perform on camera in my place than anything else.

Seeing a clone of yourself definitely has an uncanny valley aspect to it. If you’re not familiar with the term “uncanny valley,” it is used to describe seeing something computer-generated that’s human-like but not quite. And it’s a bit disturbing because it looks so real, but you know that something is off about it.

How Helen 2.ODD Was Made

If you listened to Ep.5 with Jon Tota, you’ve already been introduced to the world of synthetic media. Jon is the CEO of Render which is a Creativity Squared partner and sponsor. Render provides Digital Likeness solutions for personal brand businesses, thought leaders, influencers, and business leaders who want to leverage their synthetic, A.I.-powered likeness to communicate more effectively online and create audio and video content from anywhere without going on camera.

“The digital avatar market is projected to be $270 billion by 2030.”

Render created my avatar by capturing my likeness, cloning my voice, and using their AI-integrating application to generate Helen 2.ODD. I flew up to their studios in Burlington, VT where I read from a script on a teleprompter in front of a green screen. After that, I talked into a mic in their podcast studio for 15 or 20 minutes. All in all, the avatar experience is about 90 minutes.

How Render Works

Render uses one’s digital likeness to create high-quality video content, in an effort to reach target audiences with production-level digital assets in record time. As pioneers in the online media and virtual learning spaces, Render’s goal is to usher in the next generation of content and communication through hyper-realistic avatars to expedite content creation in your business.

Because Render knows that not everyone can fly to Vermont to create their custom synth, they bring their studio to cities across the US as well.

If you’re interested in getting your own custom synthetic avatar, Creativity Squared is collaborating with them as a partner and sponsor to bring their avatar experience to Cincinnati, OH, on October 25 and 26. Sign up for our free weekly newsletter at CreativitySquared.com to get more information about this event. 

If you want to learn more about custom synthetic avatars, listen to Ep.5 with Jon to discover more about digital doubles and their application use cases in our 2D world, plus the ethics around them, the power of prompting from a developer’s perspective, and how Render integrates multiple A.I. tools into their platform.  

We’re also going to have Jill Schiefelbein, who’s the Chief Experience Officer and a Partner at Render, on the show later this summer. She’s finalizing her doctoral dissertation where she’s been researching the engagement, trust, and effectiveness of digital clones. When she’s on the show, she’ll share what the research data reveals about the effectiveness of custom synthetic avatars on viewers to reach and resonate with audiences.

Of course, you’ll be hearing and seeing more of Helen 2.ODD here on Creativity Squared too.

So, now that you’ve learned more about synthetic avatars and met my digital twin, where do you stand on custom synths?

Links Mentioned in this Podcast

Continue the Conversation

This show is produced and made possible by the team at PLAY Audio Agency: https://playaudioagency.com.  

Creativity Squared is brought to you by Sociality Squared, a social media agency who understands the magic of bringing people together around what they value and love: http://socialitysquared.com.

Because it’s important to support artists, 10% of all revenue Creativity Squared generates will go to ArtsWave, a nationally recognized non-profit that supports over 150 arts organizations, projects, and independent artists.

Join Creativity Squared’s free weekly newsletter and become a premium supporter here.