Marilyn Monroe Being Resurrected With Realistic Digital Version

By Christopher Isaac | Published

In a testament to the impressive leaps and bounds that artificial intelligence is continuing to make at a rapid pace, it is now being used to give modern people the ability to see and hear celebrities from past generations. Though Marylin Monroe already died more than 60 years ago, this month she is being digitally revived through the abilities of modern AI. This tech demonstration will show the expanding capabilities of AI by seemingly bringing the classic star into the modern era.

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Marylin Monroe is being brought back via a company called Soul Machines in partnership with Authentic Brands Group. Soul Machines is an AI firm that devotes its resources to developing artificial intelligence that can pass as real people. Their latest project, Digital Marilyn, is being presented at the South by Southwest tech conference in Austin, Texas, this week.

Digital Marilyn Can’t Feel A Breeze

As AI still does not provide anything tangible for people to interact with, this version of Marylin Monroe will be appearing exclusively on screen. However, she will still resemble what she did in life, with her classic blonde hair and speaking in the breathy voice that she was famous for. She will be able to interact with people who speak to her, acknowledge their questions, smile when receiving compliments, pause to contemplate her response, and share information based on what the real Marylin Monroe would have known. For instance, she will be able to think over her movie roles and tell you which one meant the most to her.

A Million-Dollar Icon Of Hollywood

A group called The Information is hosting the event the digital Marylin Monroe will be appearing at. She will be available for attendees to take turns speaking to so that they can get the experience of chatting with the celebrity, something many would no doubt have coveted when the real Monroe was alive. Though in life she passed away at just 36 years old, Monroe has endured as one of the most memorable celebrities in history, with many still referencing her iconic fashion sense and movie scenes.

Marilyn Liked It Hot

In a test before the big unveiling, the digital Marylin Monroe said that the 1959 comedy Some Like it Hot was her favorite film that she has done. The real Monroe played the character named Sugar in this movie, and her digital counterpart “recalled” finding the performance to be “a challenging role, but also rewarding.” Greg Cross, the CEO and co-founder of Soul Machines, discussed how they wanted to make their digital Marylin Monroe feel authentic to who she truly was so that attendees would genuinely feel like they were interacting with the icon herself.

Limited Use Of Monroe’s Likeness

While there has been increasing discussion about AI usage of celebrities and concerns about what it could lead to, the ability to create a likeness of Marylin Monroe is not permitted for just anyone. Authentic Brands Group actually holds the rights to use her likeness, along with the rights to a variety of other celebrities who have passed away. So right now, any digital revival of Monroe would have to come through their company.

Greg Cross also stated that he hopes this demonstration can lead to future conversations about using celebrities like Monroe as brand ambassadors. With such ideas still being largely uncharted territory, it will be interesting to see if such an idea winds up becoming common practice soon.