As companies like Meta and Character.AI roll out AI avatars—bots that exhibit personalities based on made-up characters or on real people like Elon Musk or Kendall Jenner—professional actors are needed to create “expressive avatars that can emote realistically within virtual environments,” according to a recent job posting by AI company Realeyes.
The actors must be able to convincingly express a wide range of emotions—things that bots can’t do on their own.
Founded in 2007, Realeyes reads people’s emotional responses when they watch short videos and then offers feedback on the content’s effectiveness. The London-based company works with over 200 companies on various services including advertising impact and identity fraud reduction.
It’s now seeking professional actors to come to a three-camera, green screen studio setup, where they are required to express both verbal and nonverbal emotions based on provided prompts. They also may improvise brief scenes, according to Realeyes’ job posting. The pay: $300 for two hours of work.
The timing is rather striking. Shooting began in Los Angeles in July, the same month the actors strike began, leaving many performers—whose labor concerns include what AI means for their jobs—without pay.
The job posting states, in bold, that, “your individual likeness will not be used for any commercial purposes.” That comes as actors like Tom Hanks have warned people that fake versions of themselves are circulating the Internet. The posting informs actors that their work is for AI research.
Hollywood actors and concerns over AI
Outside of whether or not their likeness is copied, a job posting asking for actors to provide what they do typically on a set has some actors worried—especially background actors, who might reason that the technology would be used to replace them, as MIT Technology Review reported.
At one recording session, actors found out on set that their voices, faces, movements, and expressions would be used to help train virtual avatars for Meta, the publication reported.
“Our studies have nothing to do with the strike,” Max Kalehoff, Realeyes’s vice president for growth and marketing, told MIT Tech Review. “The vast majority of our work is in evaluating the effectiveness of advertising for clients—which has nothing to do with actors and the entertainment industry except to gauge audience reaction.”