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Alibaba creates virtual influencer for Winter Olympics to highlight innovation capabilities


By Shawn Lim, Reporter, Asia Pacific

February 10, 2022 | 3 min read

Alibaba has created a virtual influencer for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing that it hopes will showcase its digital innovation.


Alibaba explained it used a wide range of tools like Text to Speech, Natural Language Processing (NLP)

The virtual influencer, called Dong Dong, is a 22-year-old woman who has human-like features and a vibrant personality and is well-versed in engaging with audiences.

While her main purpose is to promote Olympic merchandise using livestreams, Dong Dong is also able to answer viewers’ questions and use body gestures like dancing to communicate with them.

Alibaba explained it used a wide range of tools like Text to Speech, Natural Language Processing (NLP), Emotional Speech Synthesis, and computer vision on the cloud to bring Dong Dong to life.

“Our ambition is to use cloud technology to give the Olympic Winter Games a digital uplift and to deliver Olympic Winter Games experiences relating to cloud and e-commerce platform services to fans in a creative way,” said Xiaolong Li, the leader of Alibaba virtual human and intelligent customer service.

“That’s why we developed Dong Dong, with the hope that the cloud-based virtual influencer can create better engagement with the younger, digital natives excitingly and naturally.”

She added: “In the future, we will push technology boundaries even further to create an enthralling mixed reality. Digital personas or virtual influencers will find new ways to engage with their audience through immersive experiences or a metaverse-style setting, whether during large-scale, global sports events like the Olympic Games, virtual conferences, or 3D exhibition tours. In addition, they can also be very helpful with their practical capability as diligent, smart, and efficient assistants to the reporters.”

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