Digital Humans: The Relevant Face of Artificial Intelligence?

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Scrolling through DJ and aspiring model Dex’s Instagram account you’ll see him wearing new clothes, performing at shows around the world and chatting about his passion with his thousands of followers.

However, it is clear that something is different about Dax. He is a completely virtual “digital human”, designed by a start-up in the UK.

For his performances, Dax is shown on a video screen or as a holographic projection, with his compositions created by humans. He is animated using Unreal Engine – a 3D modeling software widely used in video games – combined with motion capture. Creative artificial intelligence allows it to remember information and answer questions, even using a voice generated by the AI.

They’re probably one of the only digital humans in the performance space that you can interact with and interact with,” says Denise Harris, CCO of startup Sim Vivas. “You can ask him anything. He’s a genius about music.”

Last month, Dax performed at Digital Fashion Weeks in New York, Paris and Milan, and she modeled Prada and Louis Vuitton dresses at digital fashion events.

For Liverpool-based Sum Vivas they are a “showpiece” for more practical applications. The company is now developing digital humans that can “hear” people’s questions and communicate in real time. “Shelly” can provide product information as an avatar on company websites, while “Arif” is on screens at airports as a multilingual concierge ready to direct passengers and answer questions.

According to CEO and founder Rob Sims, digital humans can help bridge the gap between AI technology and people. “What we’ve found is that when people start working and interacting with a digital human, they suspend disbelief very quickly,” Sims told CNN. “It becomes natural.”

Since OpenAI’s ChatGPT was launched in November 2022, considerable hype has surrounded the potential of generative AI – artificial intelligence powered by large data sets of information, capable of generating text output in a conversational manner. Is.

More than $21 billion was invested in the industry during the first nine months of last year, following record levels of investment in generative AI, according to data insights company Pitchbook. In March 2023, Google launched Bard (recently renamed Gemini) and at the same time Anthropic released its AI assistant Cloud. As creative AI chatbots become increasingly ubiquitous, SimVivas is one of several companies looking to make them more human.

U.S. and New Zealand-based UneeQ has developed dynamic conversational “digital humans” that can be used as virtual sales representatives and customer service agents on company websites, and this month it debuted Sama 2.0. , an animated cabin crew member who answers questions on Qatar Airways. Website and App.

Microsoft recently announced that users of its Azure software will be able to create lifetime avatars capable of converting text gestures into animated speech. However, there are widespread concerns about the impact of AI on the job market.

“When we rely on automated tools, what skills are we losing in the process?” asks Jennifer Ding, senior researcher at the Alan Turing Institute, the UK’s National Institute for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence. “In some ways, we think of AI as something that is helping us or enhancing our work,” she says. “However, at the same time, this fear of alternatives is growing more and more.”

However, Harris points to new opportunities within digital human design and development. “In every scenario that we found, we were creating jobs and working with people instead of taking jobs away,” she says.

“Digital humans must, first and foremost, work together with other human colleagues,” adds Sims. “We will move into a phase where digital humans will start to become just another member of the team, with additional benefits for that team, and obviously the customers they serve.”

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