President of the United States, Royal Family and now Crowd Media (ASX: CM8). It may not be a linear progression but the disruptive artificial intelligence company is following the time-tested trend of appointing an exceptional military leader to drive its next phase of growth with Idan Schmorak confirmed as its new CEO.
A former officer within the Israeli Air Force, Schmorak reached the rank of Captain within the Mission Control division where he was responsible for leading operations that oversaw hundreds of soldiers. Experience working in an unpredictable high-pressure environment, Schmorak’s skill set within classified operations fits hand-in-hand with Crowd’s Talking Head platform which is being watched closely by high-level tech companies as discussed by Chairman Steven Schapera who was unable to disclose certain project information in the Company’s latest investor briefing.
“The Board is delighted to welcome Mr Schmorak to lead Crowd Media in its next phase of growth, as we drive the Talking Head platform to commercialisation in 2022,” said Schapera.
“Idan’s military background has clearly characterised his lead-from-the-front management style, with a focus and discipline that is exemplary. His substantial experience in avatar and AI technology, and business development, is just what Crowd needs in a CEO to drive the Talking Head platform and its conversational commerce capabilities.”
Primed as the next frontier of influencer marketing, the Talking Head platform is a conversational platform that will harness Crowd’s artificial intelligence, enabling influencers to have Facetime-like conversations with their fans in mass. Merging 3D imaging, voice cloning and a databank of more than 180 million user-submitted questions, the AI will drive conversations without the influencer having to physically have them.
Instead, the AI will answer the questions while an ‘avatar’ doppelganger is fed content through voice-and-visual replication of the influencer or celebrity. A beta version of the tech was released in June but at the time, did have the Q&A engine integrated as it was still undergoing text-to-voice conversion of its 180 million questions and answers. This is still taking place with the process being led by synthetic audio specialists Aflorithmic Labs which is also driving the AI behind voice cloning for the avatars that will reflect the same tones, inflections and languages as their originals.
Aflorthmic is just one of the industry-leading artificial intelligence companies that Crowd has partnered with as part of their AI Alliance of investee partners, which Schmorak will be familiar with.
2022 has been flagged as the year of commercialisation for the platform with Crowd intending to scale the platform so that it can rapidly roll out individual avatars with full 3D imaging and voice cloning. Operating such a platform where many influencers and brands have millions of followers that would converse with the AI has various roadblocks to overcome with one being bandwidth requirements to process such deep tech data instantly.
This is one area of expertise Schmorak will be familiar with, given military communications must be able to function on the smallest of bandwidth requirements to ensure clarity in remote locations.
Following his departure from the Air Force, Schmorak was appointed as the Director of Business Development at VFR Holdings, another of Crowd’s AI partners, where he was first introduced to the Talking Head platform.
“Having witnessed the development of Crowd’s artificial intelligence Q&A platform, I am excited to fully concentrate on the platform’s development alongside Crowd’s Investee Partners,” said Schmorak.
“Crowd has developed a substantial data bank of conversations which would take other players years to develop. I Iook forward to driving new applications of Crowd’s AI to solve real-world communication problems, and opening up new commercial opportunities for this disruptive technology.”
Beyond the eCommerce opportunities that conversational commerce can create by enabling influencers to promote their commercial partners at scale, Crowd Media is also exploring its application in healthcare and education.
Idan Schmorak will commence in the CEO role from September 20, 2021.
Emerald Financial released a report on Crowd Media in July 2021 which can be accessed here.
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