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Voice Assistant “Kimi” starred as a Murder Witness in an Upcoming HBO max Film | by Tapaan Chauhan | Jan, 2022

Tapaan Chauhan

HBO Max is ready to launch an intelligent AI-operated Voice Assistant, “Kimi” in an upcoming eponymous film. Angela Childs, played by Zoe Kravitz, is an agoraphobic reviewer whose life becomes immensely complicated after she discovers a voice stream which indicates towards a murder. The voice stream was being recorded by Kimi. Kravitz goes through a difficult journey where she has to convince her fellow employees to believe in an audio recorded by a voice assistant, before it’s too late.

Kimi constantly keeps recording the voices streams happening in its surroundings. Hence, Kravitz, the main protagonist must figure out if a significant audio recording is of a murder and how she can get the authorities to listen to it. Kravitz’s boss explains to her that Kimi is just a voice assistant and records a lot of unwanted happenings. He suggests it would be best if she just marks the audio recording as a corrupted one and erases it.

The film’s Director Steven Soderbergh and “Jurassic Park” scriptwriter David Koepp makes Kimi, the voice assistant a central character in the film. Now the concern arises whether a voice assistant can be fully trusted with such a sensitive issue. Is it ethical to use a voice assistant to solve a murder mystery or does it worsen the privacy invasion concern which people are already retaliating against?

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Kimi is quite similar to other voice assistants such as Alexa or Google Assistant. Their features are quite identical except, Kimi is always recording and listening to its surroundings and those audio recordings get reviewed by human executives.

The way in which Kimi, a voice assistant, has been portrayed in this particular cinema is relatively unique. Earlier, voice assistants have played the role of villains in a show. An avid illustration of this is Olivia Colman-voice PAL in Netflix’s “The Mitchells vs. The Machines “and the utilization of a Short-lived Smart Speaker and Voice Assistant in the “The Muppets” show. However, these two former shows indulged in interpersonal drama and comedy genre. Using a live-like kind of Voice AI to generate a significant plot twist is quite unique for the digital entertainment industry.

The trailer of the show reveals how technology can make us feel connected yet very lonely. The lively actions used in cinema such as generating tension and uncertainty while running, the masks, the computers displaying important information all adds to the suspense and emotion of a film.

This is a conscious reminder that technology can be made trustworthy and believable to the audience only by inculcating emotion and sonic style. These elements humanize technology and make it easier for people to relate to it.

The earliest versions of Alexa and Siri had more warmth and tenderness in their tonality, compared to Kimi. Its place in the shrine of fictional voice assistants will be examined on Feb 10, 2022, with its grand debut.

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