Television. Thierry Ardisson brings dead stars back to life on his show

Welcome to the “Hôtel du temps”, Thierry Ardisson’s new show where deceased stars are brought back to life thanks to new technologies. The first episode of this series will be dedicated to Dalida.

After the sudden stop in 2019 of “Hello earthlings! » on C8, Thierry Ardisson signs his return to the France 3 channel with his new program project, “Time Hotel”co-produced with Third Eye (Mediawan), which he has been carrying for three years.

A mortuary concept: interview deceased celebrities, whose faces and voices have been recreated by various technological processes so that they evoke their life and their death.

The famous interpreter of “Paroles, mots” and “Gigi l’amoroso”, Dalida, will be the subject of Thierry Ardisson’s first broadcast, the following issues will be devoted to Coluche and Jean Gabin, two monuments of French culture. . The first episode on the singer will be released on May 2, 2022 at 9:10 p.m. on France 3.

A technological feat that raises ethical questions…

Each star will converse with Thierry Ardisson, himself rejuvenated by technological means, in the luxurious “Time Hotel” installed in the Parisian palace ” The hotel Meurice “ for the occasion.

“It’s a real documentary told in the first person with an interviewer who gives birth to the character” based on archives, explains Nicolas Daniel, director of the magazines of France Televisionsduring a press conference.

The rejuvenation process used by the show raises multiple ethical questions about making the dead speak through the technique of “deepfake”, artificial intelligence technology to fake images.

“I asked their opinion of the heirs” even if, legally, “there is no image rights for the dead”, explains Thierry Ardisson.

“It’s so intimate that we can’t impose that on them”, he adds. To work “hand in hand with them” allowed “to get a lot of information that I might not have gotten” only.

The show’s other ethical safeguard is that all comments made by personalities “were actually spoken or written”, guarantees the facilitator, who has therefore built his interviews on the basis of existing answers, found at the cost of a “big job” documentary collection.

As to “deepfake”,
“it’s a tool: what’s good or bad is how you use it”, slice the“man in black” who claims to employ it “in a positive and cultural way”.

… for a “bluffing” result

The result is “bluffing”, confirms before the press Orlando, the brother of Dalida, moved to have seen his sister evoke his suicide on the screen.

An impressive technique that required many months to find the service provider capable of exploiting this technology for 90 minutes of transmission.

The French studio Mac Guff has developed for the occasion “a unique tool” in very high resolution, “at costs compatible” with the budget of the show, underlines Rodolphe Chabrier, president of this great name in 3D animation and special effects.

This software makes it possible to recreate the faces by means of an artificial intelligence previously fed with numerous original images of the stars.

This double visual was then inlaid on the faces of the actors who interpreted the stars interviewed by Ardisson, while their voices were modified by Ircam (Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique).

The program also goes back in time with the “talking picture”, another process which consists of animating the faces of people on a painting or a photo, to create conversations between the illustrious deceased, as between Dalida and Claude François.

Innovation of the present, daily life of the future

“In a few years, there will be films with Clark Gable or Gary Cooper in Hollywood”, predicts Ardisson, 73 years old including 37 on the small screen, who now aims to“using artificial intelligence to spectacularise culture” on TV.

In his projects, the development of“History Vision”, an educational program relating historical facts through the animation of famous paintings or portraits. A pilot episode on Napoleon has already been presented to National Education.

For now, the host can count on the success of“Time Hotel” abroad: the concept has already won over six countries in Europe and the Middle East.

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Television. Thierry Ardisson brings dead stars back to life on his show

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