5:38pm PT by Carolyn Giardina
Artificial Intelligence Startup Oben Raises $10 Million
Pasadena-based artificial intelligence startup Oben has raised $10 million, bringing its total funding to roughly $23.7 million.
Its new investor is entrepreneur Adrian Cheng’s K11, the company behind a museum-retail concept, the “art mall,” that already has sites in Hong Kong and Shanghai.
Oben intends to use the funding to further develop its platform for creating AI-driven avatars. Part of the plan is to incorporate custom avatars at K11 locations as guides. “Oben’s Personal Artificial Intelligence platform simplifies the implementation of AI technologies for real-life applications,” said Cheng in a statement. “K11 is committed to localizing the PAI platform and bringing an immersive AI experience for visitors at all K11 projects.”
As previously reported, Oben also has been reaching out to Hollywood talent agencies with an eye toward creating digital "copies" of actors and celebrities for a variety of uses. For instance, Siri’s voice could be replaced by that of a famous actor or actress. Or a digital version of a popular comedian could greet you on your mobile — or appear in some iteration of virtual, augmented or mixed reality.