Digital Humans: The “Amazon Echos” of the Metaverse
The race is on for realistic-looking, AI-powered digital humans in the metaverse.
By now most of us use Amazon Echos, Google Home, Apple Siri, or Microsoft Cortana on a regular basis. If you’re like me, you may even have an Echo in every room of your your home. They are incredibly convenient for getting quick answers to questions, setting reminders and alarms, and even listening to music or controlling IoT devices around your home.
The next generation of these smart devices will be actual digital humans living and breathing in the metaverse.
When I first joined MagicLeap in 2018 through the acquisition of my decentralized supercomputing company, Computes, I was blown away to meet MICA. She is/was an AR-based, life-sized digital human only visible from within MagicLeap’s AR glasses. While she didn’t yet speak verbally, she would walk up to you and stand in front of you, make eye contact with you, and try to keep your attention focused on her eyes. Over time, MagicLeap built several interactive demos where MICA would interact with you in training simulations or interactive games.
You could imagine future versions of MICA sitting down with you and your family at the dinner table helping you plan a family vacation together.
I’m not sure what happened to MICA. I haven’t heard anything about her since the company’s massive layoff a couple of years ago.
Using similar technology, China was experimenting with 24-hour AI-powered news anchors back in 2018 and 2019.
Another company, Soul Machines, has been doing incredible work in the digital human space. Their website highlights humanized chat bots that can interact with you as AI-powered conversational digital assistants covering many domains including: cooking, healthcare, and trivia. Here’s a promo video of a soul machine in action.
Fast forward to the present. Epic Games recently announced their new MetaHuman Creator project. You bring your own AI or actor skills and their game engine can help you create a life-like meta human in minutes. Check out Siren’s real-time performance powered by a live actress below.
UneeQ’s Digital Humans are also a great option for getting started with life-like customer service online or in the metaverse (soon).
The realism of these meta/digital humans are impressive but what if you want or need multiple digital humans with their own personas interacting off each other and you? That’s where Charisma.AI comes in.
Charisma is an easy, no-code way to create interactive stories with believable virtual characters that respond to what you say. Unlike chatbot platforms, Charisma uses the language of storytelling, with built-in features like emotion, memory, scenes and subplots to make your stories feel alive and delightful.
Here’s an amazing demo of Epic’s MetaHumans powered by Charisma’s AI interactions between two digital humans and yourself.