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[HanCinema's News] New Service Provides AI-generated Celebrity Phone Calls


The gaming company NCSoft has been getting attention for its new idol phone service,which was first mentioned on its K-pop Entertainment platform UNIVERSE worldwide on January 28th. The exact nature of the "private call" option which appeared on the platform was not clearly described or advertised. Nevertheless, approximately four million people made reservations for the seven dollar a month service ahead of its February 3rd release, which comes with a single private call voucher.


Persons using the service have confirmed that a somewhat stiff AI algorithm will make comments to the purchaser according to a certain theme of the purchaser's choosing. So a person requesting that Cha Eun-woo call them and give messages of healing will be greeted with a call of up to twenty eight seconds of length. In this call, they will receive statements such as "work hard" or "tell me if you have trouble" or other such reassurances.

Fans have been enormously positive in their description of the UNIVERSE service writ large, noting the large amount of customization options. Others have noted that while UNIVERSE doesn't have much of interest for people who aren't idol fans, the sheer quantity of relevant content for those who are is overwhelming. Negative comments include buffering issues. Others claim that some of the options, namely the idol phone call, are just plain weird.

The mere existence of Cha Eun-woo helps show the sheer breadth of the project. UNIVERSE was conceived chiefly with BTS in mind, and is managed by Big Hit Entertainment which manages the group. Big Hit Entertainment appears to have negotiated appearance rights with a large number of other agencies for UNIVERSE, resulting in their even having access to Cha Eun-woo's image despite the ASTRO star currently best known for his acting work in "True Beauty" where he plays the lead actor.

Written by William Schwartz

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