Matthieu Dugal has built his digital double for a documentary series on AI

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Matthieu Dugal has built his digital double for a documentary series on AI

For his new series “To be or not to be”, journalist Matthieu Dugal had access to Microsoft Azure OpenAI technologies.

“To be or not to be, such is the question,” wrote William Shakespeare in Hamlet. This is also the question that inhabits Matthieu Dugal in his new documentary series on ethics and artificial intelligence (AI) of the same name, To be or not to be.

< p class="e-p">The host and journalist had exclusive access to Microsoft Azure OpenAI technologies, with which he was able to create his digital double.

I built my digital double with data that I left online, especially with my presence on social networks for 10 years, says Matthieu Dugal.

These data – almost entirely public, except for emails and other exceptions – were passed to Microsoft Azure which made it a virtual clone of the animator, a kind of puppet, as he calls it.

You can literally animate these algorithms in text, audio or even video, he points out, which can lead to crazy moments. In June 2021, for example, Matthieu Dugal spoke with his digital double on the air during his radio show Moteur de recherche on ICI Première.

Matthieu Dugal in the first episode of the series “To be or not to be”

The documentary series required painstaking work that spanned five years, according to the science and technology buff. In particular, he conducted 35 to 40 hours of interviews with a handful of specialists, luminaries in their field, ranging from AI to philosophy and psychology.

Access to Microsoft Azure technology was not easy: I had to convince them.

They have programs that are extremely advanced to simulate voices . It is so difficult to have access to these algorithms, because it is sensitive, he explains.

After presenting the project to them and what he intended to do with it, he finally received the green light from the web giant.

The visual of the series “ To be or not to be”.

The trailer for the series To be or not to be

The website of the seriesTo be or not to be

The host has certainly pushed the exercise very far, with technologies that are not very accessible, but he specifies that a digital double, we all have one online on the major platforms.

That's how companies use targeted advertising. Currently, the value of giants like Facebook and Google comes from the fact that these companies have a set of precise and granular data about their users, which they sell to advertisers, he points out.

According to the journalist, we are on the eve of an acceleration in the field of deep learning which will push us to ask ourselves very strong ethical questions.

Beginning with grief: would you choose to turn your dying loved one into a chatbot?

“The Black Mirror series , we are not far from that. »

— Matthieu Dugal

The three one-hour episodes of the documentary series Being or Not Being will be broadcast on Doc humanity on ICI Télé on Saturdays at 10:30 p.m., from July 23 to August 6.

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