Yokosuka Releases Video of AI-Generated Avatar Speaking English That Looks Just Like Mayor

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Yokosuka Mayor Katsuaki Kamiji watches his avatar at Yokosuka City Hall in Kanagawa Prefecture on Tuesday.

The Yokosuka city government released a video on its website Tuesday of an avatar of Mayor Katsuaki Kamiji, created using artificial intelligence, speaking English.

The video aims to deliver messages to some 7,000 foreign long-term residents in the city and 20,000 people living at the U.S. Navy’s Yokosuka base, and is the first attempt by a local government in Japan.

The video was created using generative AI service HayGen, which learned the mayor’s words and actions at press conferences and created an avatar that looks just like him. The avatar speaks English by inputting AI-generated English translations. The avatar’s facial expressions and English language will reflect the emotions in the Japanese words.