WSJ’s Joanna Stern cloned herself with AI, fooling her own family

Tech columnist Joanna Stern cloned herself using AI tech.

Together with

he Future. Tech columnist Joanna Stern cloned herself using AI tech in an experiment to see if she could offload some of her video work to her deepfake. Not everyone was convinced, but it did show a scary amount of promise. Whenever the tech is perfected, expect many people to sub in their own AI clones to handle anything that can be pre-recorded.

Joanna Stern’s AI clone had some mixed results in fooling people.

  • Using voice-cloning from ElevenLabs, it was able to fool Chase Bank’s voice biometric system to connect with a representative.
  • It even fooled her dad and sister on the phone, as well as Snap CEO Evan Spiegel, who had a scheduled interview with her — but they all admitted that something was off.
  • Using a custom voice and video clone created by Synthesia, AI Joanna was less convincing in a TikTok video and Zoom meeting.
  • Colleagues and audiences noted that it had a voice that was too bot-y, had too perfect of a posture, didn’t use her hands, and lacked any wit.

It’s only a matter of time until the kinks are worked out, and a more-convincing AI clone can be created for anyone that wants one (Synthesia costs $1,000/year with additional monthly fees; ElevenLabs costs $5/month).

That’ll be great for people that want to increase their productivity… and terrible for anyone that hopes to avoid the inevitable explosion in AI-related scam artists.


E-bike glow-up 🚴‍♂️💨

Want a reconditioned e-bike? Who doesn’t? Take Upway’s quick three-question quiz and find your best bike match. And they’ll zip it to your door in two to five days. 📦

Time to e-ride