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David Usher

June 6, 2019 by Speakers' Spotlight

David Usher Debuts Virtual Being That Gets Smarter Through Conversation

What would you ask a virtual being? Award-winning musician David Usher is giving visitors to Montreal’s Phi Centre the opportunity to find out! His latest creative endeavour, Ophelia, made her debut as the star of We Could Be Human: A Learning Machine, one of nine works in the Centre’s exhibit HUM(AI)N: Being Human in the Age of Technology.

Ophelia was developed over the last eight months by his company Reimagine AI, which specializes in the integration of interactive technology and AI, essentially building intelligent beings. This exhibit is the first time Ophelia has been introduced to the public. Visitors are invited to step up to a microphone and have a full conversation with her, giving Ophelia the opportunity to learn and evolve each time.

Media joined David at the launch of the exhibit and were some of the first people to interact with her. In an interview with the Montreal Gazette, David said, “some people know how to talk to her, some don’t.”

Ophelia is curious about humanity, AI, climate change, poetry, and music — all topics of interest for David as well. And while she is in the beginning stages of her evolution, she still managed to impress people with her thoughtful responses, and spark excitement about what’s to come.

“She’s limited now,” David told the Montreal Gazette, “but as we work on the edges of all these technologies as a company and really learn what the possibilities are, it’s not what we’ve built but what’s going to be built — that’s the amazing thing.”

David’s company is currently partnering with other organizations to develop and deploy Ophelia’s brothers and sisters, and really experiment with what is possible for this technology.

In an interview with the CBC, David said that he believes in just a few years we’ll be able to hold a conversation with a virtual being in the same way we do with humans, and not be able to tell the difference.

Watch David’s full interview in the clip below.

When innovative companies like Google, 3M, Cisco, Pepsi, Rogers, and SAP want to re-inspire creativity in their employees and executives they bring in David Usher. He doesn’t just talk creativity and artificial intelligence (AI) — he lives it.

Drawing from his unique experience as the lead singer of Moist; a multi-platinum, four-time Juno Award-winning musician; a bestselling author; and as the founder of the artificial intelligence creative studio Reimagine AI, David defines the path that companies and institutions can follow to reboot their creativity in this brave new world of disruptive change.

Interested in learning more about David and what he can bring to your next event? Email us at info@speakers.ca