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Interface with a Familiar Face
Donating your face for use as a library information terminal. It's like donating a park bench, except way creepier
When an artificial intelligence is given the face and voice of a real (in the fictional setting) human being, instead of a made-up face.
Distinct from Virtual Ghost
and Replacement Goldfish
in that the resemblance is only skin deep — the AI has its own name and personality, and is not meant to be a replacement for the person — although the decision to give it that face may have been influenced by sentimental reasons.
Also, this is usually not a case of the AI taking the place of the person it's modelled on; the model is usually still alive, and they will generally go on to lead separate existences. Nor is it usually a case of the AI being introduced as a Suspiciously Similar Substitute
; in fact, in series fiction it's very common for the AI to appear first.
If the AI does appear first, and especially if it's a regular character, then the longer the series runs the more likely it becomes that the model will make a guest appearance. The odds of this happening are given a boost if the AI's creator did it without the model's knowledge.
There seems to be a trend for a male-seeming AI to be modelled on its creator, and for a female-seeming AI to be modelled on somebody the creator knew. This may just be a reflection of a preponderance of male AI creators in fiction, though.
Although the title we've given this trope puts the emphasis on computer interfaces, all of the above can also apply to androids.
Contrast Virtual Ghost
and Brain Uploading
, where the artificial intelligence is
meant to be the same as the person it's copied from; all robotic forms of Doppelgänger
; and A Form You Are Comfortable With
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- In All Fall Down, AIQ Squared looks and sounds exactly like IQ Squared, when he was still a super genius.
- In one chapter of Tiberium Wars, Nod's LEGION AI drops in on Commander Logan Rawne to have a friendly chat. For reasons known only to itself, it chooses to replace its normal deep, imposing computer voice with a pitch-perfect mimicry of Tim Curry. (When he recovers, Rawne deadpans that if LEGION starts singing "Sweet Transvestite", he's going to start running.)
- In Resident Evil, the appearance and voice of the Red Queen's hologram were modeled after the head programmer's daughter. The daughter appears in the sequel, Resident Evil: Apocalypse.
- A few of these appeared in the Alien film series, particularly in the form of androids. Bishop, from Aliens, is established in a subsequent film as having been modelled on a real person.
- In Terminator Salvation, Skynet manifests itself to Marcus with the face and voice of Dr. Kogan.
- In Star Trek The Motion Picture we have the Ilia probe, modeled after the dead Ilia to facilitate communication with the crew.
- In Isaac Asimov's The Caves of Steel, robot R. Daneel Olivaw is modeled upon his creator. The resemblance is so good that his creator is murdered by someone who thought they were attacking the robot.
- In The Peace War by Vernor Vinge, Paul Naismith has given his house AI a hologram body and voice modeled on his girlfriend who was one of the first victims of the Peace Authority.
- In Sergey Lukyanenko's Labyrinth of Reflections, the protagonist uses Windows Home as his computer OS. He keeps the original avatar of the OS, an attractive woman. While in Cyberspace, he is running away from a mob and runs into a virtual brothel. He then browses through the catalog and is stunned to find a virtual prostitute that looks exactly the same as his avatar. After meeting her, he starts developing feelings for her, which she cautions him against, as she can be a fat guy for all he knows. At the end of the novel, they agree to meet in the real world, and it turns out that this is what she really looks like.
Live Action TV
- Cortana from Halo was not only physically modeled after her creator, Dr. Halsey, but the basis for her personality was a scan of Halsey's own brain.
- Mass Effect:
- In Mass Effect 2, you learn that a street kid has been making and selling VIs that look like Shepard. You never see it, but you can ask for a copy. In Mass Effect 3, you can see the VI, who can "predict what Shepard would say with 7% accuracy." Shepard is worried if s/he really sounds like that.
Bailey: Yeah. When you erased a file, it would say "I delete data like you on the way to real errors." Buggy, though. It crashed every half-hour and the error message was about how the galaxy was at stake and you should fix the problem yourself.
- Also, the creator of the reapers takes on the form of the child Shepard watched die to talk with him/her.
- Ma3a from Tron 2.0 straddles the line between this and Virtual Ghost. While she has a distinct (and utterly cryptic) thought process and purpose, it's all but stated that her appearance, voice (yes, it is Cindy Morgan under all that distortion), and some of her personality was constructed from the deceased Dr. Bradley.
- Dangan Ronpa: Alter Ego is this to Chihiro Fujisaki.
- Lovelace from Narbonic looks and sounds like Jennifer Connelly.
- In The Venture Bros., Dr. Venture, Brock, Ünderbheit, and Pete are captured by Mike Sorayama's Leslie Bots, which he made to look like his college crush, Leslie Cohen. We then find out that Professor Sorayama is actually dead, and that he created a robot in his own image to continue his hatred for the aforementioned capturees... and teach his college courses.
- HUBO, a Korean robot with a wide repertoire of facial expressions, and, the better to demonstrate them, a life-like human face: Albert Einstein's.
- Einstein and Shakespeare are available as helpers in Microsoft Office programs.