Taryn Southern is a performer who likes to experiment with cutting-edge technologies. She’s recorded a pop album that she co-wrote with some AI code, for instance, and she’s created a digital clone of herself that she can use to make videos for her popular YouTube channel.
Southern has been a celebrity ever since she was back in high school: She was a contestant on American Idol when she was 17, in that popular reality show’s third season. And she was a pioneering YouTuber, going viral with a comedic video supporting Hillary Clinton’s first presidential campaign. She even hosted a travel show back in 2006 where she jetset around the world meeting friends she had made on MySpace, a precursor to Facebook.
These days she’s a digital strategist looking at how things like the blockchain, the metaverse and AI might change human expression. And she recently shared her latest predictions with educators at the ISTE Live conference in New Orleans in June.
EdSurge sat down with Southern in person right after her talk to hear more about why she sees these technologies as transformative, as well as her thoughts on the potential downsides for humans if AI takes a greater role in storytelling and creative expression.
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