Key people are in high demand, that is the case for Daniel Kalt, the Chief Economist at UBS that has a long queue of investors demanding to talk to him.
Hence UBS had Daniel scheduled for a full day shooting, involving 120 cameras that took his expressions as he talked on various topics and a New Zealand company, FaceMe, took care of the rendering creating an avatar to impersonate Daniel. The rendering is so good that people talking to it do not realise they are not talking to the real Daniel.
The problem, of course, is what the avatar would say. How can the avatar be able (and be trusted) to say what the real Daniel would say in answering the clients questions?
Well, for that AI steps in, and specifically Watson, by IBM. Daniel spoke at length with Watson to prepare it to many possible questions and to articulate the answers. If a client will voice a question that Daniel has not instructed Watson to reply the avatar will decline to answer postponing the answer to a later time (and letting the real Daniel consider what the answer should be!).
UBS is planning to test Daniel digital twin managed by Watson and rendered by FaceMe on 200 USB clients. We’ll see what the results will be.
It is, however, just a matter of time and this kind of support will become common in several white collar profession. It will provide better service to clients since a replica will always be available. The question of course is for how long the real person that is cloned via the digital twin will be needed?