Jill Schiefelbein, Synthetic Media: Integrating AI with Sound and Visuals – Innova.Buzz 586


Jill Schiefelbein, Render Media

Our guest in this episode is Jill Schiefelbein, Chief Experience Officer and Partner at Render Media, a tech start-up specializing in creating customized digital likeness through the use of hyper-realistics avatars. Thriving at the intersections of communication, education, and technology, Jill took her experience teaching business communication at Arizona State University and leveraged it into a communication strategy company, The Dynamic Communicator, where she’s served companies from small brick-and-mortar businesses to Fortune 50 companies as a keynote speaker, trainer, and consultant. Helping businesses find and fill their communication gaps is what she does best.

In our conversation Jill takes us on a fascinating journey through the world of emergent technologies. From the evolution of communication to the potential of synthetic media, Jill explores how innovation can drive us forward while providing valuable insights on navigating the ethical implications.

Key Takeaways:

  • Embrace new technologies and be proactive in communicating their usage to build trust and reduce uncertainty in business and personal interactions.
  • Utilize synthetic media and AI responsibly by setting up ethical guardrails and implementing clear communication strategies to enhance content delivery.
  • Explore different contexts and industries to generate innovative ideas and perspectives for problem-solving and innovation.

Mark Herschberg, who was our guest on Episode 565 introduced us to Jill.

Listen to the podcast to find out more.

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Predictive text and AI are shaping the future of programming. Embrace the evolution of the internet. #PredictiveText #AIRevolution @dynamicjill on #InnovaBuzz podcast Share on X

Show Notes from this episode with Jill Schiefelbein, Render Media

  • Importance of not letting intimidation cloud judgment on new technologies
  • Advising individuals and businesses to be proactive
  • Study on Synthetic Media Content: How people react to synthetic media content
  • Our brains are wired to reduce uncertainty; digital representation can help fill in gaps and reduce uncertainty
  • Reinforcement and trust are important factors in doing business
  • Databases and technology can be used to create personalized follow-up messages
  • Evolution of the Internet and AI: Governance of the internet; Understanding and using artificial intelligence
  • GPT and the Evolution of Internet Indexing: Predictive text with context; Programming evolving with more data, context, and user inputs; SEO is not going away
  • Synthesized Media and Ethics: Setting up ethical or moral guardrails; Predicting a digital verification standard
  • Seeking Advice and Problem-Solving: Asking specific questions and providing context; Any problem requires asking the right questions
  • Successful AI Implementation and Digital Avatars: Clear processes and touchpoints in communication strategy; Identifying specific problems and using a skeleton framework; Using digital avatars to save time and allow for personalization
  • Synthetic Media as a Tool in Delivery of Information: Importance of visuals in delivering content; The effectiveness of an AI system depends on the models it is trained on; Utilizing synthetic media should not be a shortcut for effective communication and learning
  • Overview of Synthetic Media: Synthetic media uses AI to produce synthetic outputs; Creation of hyper-realistic avatars for communication; Synthetic media also includes generative audio, musical scores, and b-roll.

Host, Jürgen, invites experienced speaker and author Jill Shiefelbein to discuss a range of topics related to emergent technologies, the evolution of communication, and the use of synthetic media.

Jill begins by sharing her recent experience speaking at a conference on emergent technologies. She highlights a new technology that enables more efficient communication of information. Drawing a parallel, she references the Ink reservoir patent of 1899, which had a significant impact on the spread of information through writing. Jill emphasizes that throughout history, every advancement has been feared and questioned. However, she urges listeners not to let intimidation cloud their judgment of what is fundamentally human.

One key piece of advice from Jill is for individuals and businesses to be proactive in communicating their usage of new technologies. It’s not enough to simply use these technologies; they must be transparent and deliberate in their communication. She believes that this proactive approach helps to build trust and acceptance among stakeholders.

Jill then delves into a study she conducted on how people react to synthetic media content depending on whether or not it is disclosed as an avatar. As humans, our brains are wired to reduce uncertainty, which aids in our survival. Digital representations of people can help fill in the gaps and reduce the uncertainty load our brains deal with. Jill emphasizes that reinforcement and trust are important factors in business and compliance with requested behaviors.

Interestingly, databases and technology can be utilized to create personalized follow-up messages for patients, leveraging the power of reinforcement and using likeness to increase efficacy. Jill expresses her interest in testing this concept in a healthcare system to explore its potential benefits further.

The conversation then shifts to the topic of artificial intelligence (AI) and its evolution. Jill discusses how the internet has been governed in the past and the current push towards understanding and harnessing AI. She notes that even developers don’t fully comprehend its potential. However, she firmly believes that AI is here to stay and will continue to evolve.

Jill explains how our approach to searching is evolving from simple keyword searches to asking questions and making demands. This shift poses a challenge for computers as they strive to comprehend and respond to human queries effectively. She encourages listeners to consider placing something in multiple fields or industries as a way to generate new ideas. By applying something to different contexts, one can come up with innovative thoughts that hadn’t occurred before.

To illustrate this point, Jill shares her experience of contemplating the benefits of Bluetooth speakers in different settings such as office spaces, airplanes, and hospitals. She references the book “What Would Google Do?” as an example of applying a thinking organization’s approach to different industries to foster innovative ideas.

Next, Jill introduces the concept of GPT (Generative Predictive Text), which predicts the next word in a sentence based on context. She also discusses the evolution of internet indexing, beginning with single keywords and progressing to more complex syntax comprehension. Jill explains how programming has evolved with more data, context, and user inputs, enabling better predictions.

Addressing potential concerns, Jill emphasizes the importance of not letting fear hinder innovation. She suggests setting up ethical or moral guardrails to mitigate potential issues arising from technologies like avatar-generated speech or synthesized media. Examples of existing guardrails for identity verification, such as blue check marks on social media or watermarks on videos, could be adapted for use in this context. She predicts that a digital verification standard, potentially involving non-fungible tokens (NFTs), could facilitate rapid and cost-effective authentication of synthesized media content.

Jill goes on to emphasize the importance of asking specific questions when seeking advice. She provides an example from her personal life, where she asks friends for advice on a specific issue but sets clear parameters on what she wants them to address. She explains that whether it’s a personal or business problem, fundamentally, it is a human issue that requires asking the right questions. She advises being specific in seeking advice from a board of advisors and explaining why they were chosen for their expertise.

Continuing the discussion on AI, Jill highlights the messy trial-and-error approach many organizations are taking without a clear roadmap or end goal. She stresses the importance of having clear processes and touchpoints in communication strategies before adopting new tools. Jill advocates for identifying specific problems and using a skeleton framework to customize AI solutions for different industries or situations.

Jill suggests using digital avatars to save time and deliver personalized, customized content to clients. However, she warns that the effectiveness of an AI system depends on the models it is trained on, which inherently contain biases. She recommends using synthetic media, such as video and vocal clones, in conjunction with other aids like visuals to enhance the delivery of content. She cautions that synthetic media should not be seen as a shortcut for effective communication and learning, but rather as a tool in the arsenal of delivering information.

In conclusion, Jill emphasizes the vast potential of AI and synthetic media, which fall under the broader umbrella of the AI field. She showcases how these technologies can create hyper-realistic avatars that communicate without the need for being on camera. Although these digital likenesses mimic reality, they are not exactly the same—akin to vegan leather in the media world.

Throughout the episode, Jill’s insights and expertise shed light on the evolving landscape of emergent technologies, communication strategies, and the responsible use of synthetic media. Her emphasis on proactive communication, ethical considerations, and strategic implementation provide valuable guidance for individuals and businesses navigating these modern advancements.

Successful AI implementation requires a clear roadmap and customization for different industries. Don't adopt new tools blindly. #AIImplementation #CustomizationIsKey @dynamicjill on #InnovaBuzz podcast Share on X

The Buzz – Our Innovation Round

Here are Jill’s answers to the questions of our innovation round. Listen to the conversation to get the full scoop.

  1. 1 thing to be more innovative – Be more curious – if it doesn’t work, figure out why.
  2. Best thing for new ideas – Think about things in different situations or context.
  3. Favourite resource – A personal board of advisors.
  4. Keep project/client on track – Set clear and agreed upon expectations up front.
  5. Differentiate – Own your uniqeness and bring your full self to any interaction.


Pick one thing from this episode that interested you the most, that can benefit you, and take action on that, then let us know what you did.

Reach Out

You can reach out and thank Jill through @DynamicJill anywhere on social media, or the Render Media website.



Cool Things About Jill

  • Jill was an early adopter of online education, building up hundreds of online courses in the early 2000s at the largest public university in the USA.
  • She’s currently working on her doctorate at the University of South Florida’s Muma College of Business, where she’s researching the intersections of customer experience, B2B sales, and synthetic media.
Utilize digital avatars and synthetic media to save time and deliver personalized content. But remember, effective communication is still crucial. #DigitalAvatars #EffectiveCommunication @dynamicjill on #InnovaBuzz podcast Share on X

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Jürgen Strauss

Dr. Jürgen Strauss is The World's Best Human-Centred Podcasting Coach and the only Podcast Innovator with the signature bright yellow headphones, who masterfully crafts human connection for high-impact achievers in a vibrant community. You can find Jürgen on LinkedIn, The InnovaBuzz Podcast, The Flywheel Nation Community as well as on Innovabiz' InstagramTwitter, Facebook pages and his personal Photography website.  

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