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Pasadena Artificial Intelligence Company Continues Chinese Expansion

Published on Tuesday, January 22, 2019 | 6:09 pm

ObEN Inc., a Pasadena-based artificial intelligence (AI) company, signed new entertainment partnerships and launched new celebrity-based Personal Artificial Intelligence avatars as part of its continued expansion into China’s market.
ObEN announced its official Chinese name roughly translating to “Celebrity Crew,” in a nod to its growing presence in the country’s entertainment industry, according to a Jan. 22 press statement.
The new name also celebrates the Lunar New Year, when the company plans to release several new celebrity avatars created for the Chinese market.
In December, ObEN collaborated with the Chinese music group SNH48 on the world’s first human-PAI song and music video. Using its proprietary full-stack AI technology, ObEN created avatars for six of the group’s most popular members. The avatars joined the group members as they sang and danced in the music video for the song “Now and Forever.”
ObEN’s state-of-the-art AI technology uses simple selfies – or 3D face scans for higher quality output – and a few short voice recordings to create digital avatars that look and sound like an individual user. Coupled with natural language processing technology, these avatars can serve as intelligent virtual chatbots that can even behave and converse after the person they are modeled on.
In November of 2018, the company showcased its PAI technology, competing toe-to-toe with Microsoft’s Xiao Ice AI on the popular Chinese show My Future. The company gained widespread recognition for the PAI of famed actress Dai Chunrong it featured on the show.
ObEN was invited to exhibit at the Shanghai World AI Conference, showcasing its work to executives, government leaders, and tens of thousands of attendees.
The company debuted the world’s first PAI concierge at Shanghai’s K11 Art Mall, transforming K11 founder and chairman Adrian Cheng into a virtual concierge guiding visitors through a dual exhibit featuring works from American ceramic artist Betty Woodman and acclaimed Chinese painter Zhao Yang.
ObEN’s growth is backed by several Chinese investors including Tencent, K11, and with venture capital from funds that include Cybernaut, DunAn, and E3 Capital.
To learn more about Personal AI, visit

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