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Sesame Street Stars Go AI: Elmo and Cookie Monster Offer Personalized Greetings on Cameo

Cameo / Sesame Workshop

Cameo has expanded its roster of celebrities, adding the timeless superstars Cookie Monster and Elmo to its lineup of personalities available for personalized video greetings. These beloved Sesame Street characters, whose financial situations may be uncertain, are shamelessly promoting their services on the platform. For a fee of $25, they offer to count to your child’s age or recite words that begin with the same letter as your child’s name. Notably, the relatively low price for these Sesame Street icons is attributed to the fact that humans don’t seem to record their voices; instead, Cameo describes them as “powered by artificial intelligence.”

Cookie Monster and Elmo join a diverse Cameo lineup that includes Kenny G ($350 per message), Danica McKellar ($150), and Billy Dee Williams ($300), among others. Animated characters such as Thomas the Tank Engine, Grumpy Bear (from Care Bears), and JJ from CoComelon are also featured on the platform.

In a sample Cameo on the service’s website, Cookie Monster, the perpetually hungry, AI-driven blue Muppet, exclaims, “Hiya, it’s me, Cookie Monster. Me so excited to meet you and maybe share a cookie or two. I love to sing ‘Happy Birthday,’ say goodnight before bedtime, or just say hi. I can’t wait.”

Cameo / Sesame Workshop

Disclosures on the Sesame Street characters’ websites inform customers that AI is responsible for powering them. The description states, “Elmo is a virtual character powered by artificial intelligence. They will take the details you give them and craft a custom video just for you!” Engadget has reached out to Cameo for clarification on which parts of the message are AI-generated, and this article will be updated accordingly if a response is received.

The question of whether parents will find it worthwhile to pay for “personalized” greetings generated by artificial intelligence remains to be answered. However, it’s noteworthy that these algorithmically created messages from furry monsters cost only around 12 percent of the price of messages from Michael Rapaport.

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