Digital humans: the relatable face of artificial intelligence?

Digital humans: the relatable face of artificial intelligence? - Technology - News

The Rise of Digital Humans: Meet Dex, the Virtual DJ and Model

Delve into the Instagram feed of DJ and aspiring model Dex, and you’ll be treated to a visual feast of new outfits, global performances, and engaging interactions with thousands of followers. But what sets Dex apart from other social media personalities? She’s an entirely novel concept: a digital human, created by a UK-based startup.

The Virtual Performer:
For her electrifying performances, Dex graces video screens and holographic projections. Her music mixes are meticulously crafted by human musicians, while she is brought to life using Unreal Engine – a widely used 3D modeling software in video games. Motion-capture technology animates her, and generative artificial intelligence enables her to remember information and converse, all with a voice crafted by ai.

Interactive Engagements:
Denise Harris, CCO of Sum Vivas, the company behind Dex, shares her unique qualities: “She’s one of the only digital humans in the performance space that you can have a conversation and interact with. You can ask her anything; she’s a genius about music.”

Global Appearances:
Last month, Dex graced the stages of Digital Fashion Weeks in New York, Paris, and Milan. She has also modeled haute couture outfits by Prada and Louis Vuitton at digital fashion events.

Bridging the Gap Between Humans and ai:
Sum Vivas sees Dex as a “showpiece” for more practical applications of digital humans. The company is presently developing avatars that can converse in real-time, such as “Shellie,” an informative product representative on company websites, and “Arif,” a multilingual airport concierge guiding passengers and answering queries.

The Impact of Generative ai:
Since OpenAI’s ChatGPT was launched in November 2022, there has been an enormous wave of excitement regarding generative ai – artificial intelligence driven by vast databases and generating textual outputs in a conversational manner. Billions of dollars have been invested in this industry, with over $21 billion committed during the first nine months of last year (according to data insights company Pitchbook). In March 2023, Google unveiled Bard (later renamed Gemini) and Anthropic introduced its ai assistant Claude.

New Opportunities in the Digital Human Landscape:
Despite the hype surrounding generative ai, concerns about its potential impact on employment continue to surface. Jennifer Ding, a senior researcher at the Alan Turing Institute, raises questions: “When we rely on automated tools, what skills are we losing in the process? Fears of replacement are becoming more prevalent.”

Creating Jobs Through Digital Human Development:
However, advocates like Harris and Sims see new opportunities in this digital human landscape. “Every scenario we’ve encountered, we’re creating jobs and collaborating with people instead of taking jobs away,” Harris shares. Sims adds, “Digital humans should work alongside human colleagues; we’ll soon reach a stage where digital humans become another team member with added advantages for the team and customers they serve.”

In an era of rapid technological advancements, Dex – a virtual DJ and model – exemplifies the emergence of digital humans. As these creations continue to evolve and interact with humans in various capacities, their potential applications and impact on our workforce remain an intriguing topic of exploration.