In September, Apple stunned the world when it flaunted its newfangled FaceID on its revolutionary iPhone X. But this geek tech is just the tip of the iceberg.
An AI company has now upped the ante by making another version of you. California-based ObEN has created what one would call a “digital twin.”
The company’s proprietary technology allows you to create and design a digital version of yourself by simulating your voice, face, and personality. Besides inheriting your voice and facial features, the digital doppelganger will also have the ability to serve as your virtual assistant and perform tasks assigned by you.
In short, your mobile AI such as Siri, Cortana, or Alexa will be a mirror image of yourself.
Why create a version of you?
Founded in 2014, ObEN’s goal is to humanize the future. The company’s sole aim is to make human interactions with machines less boring and more personal.
According to ObEN, an AI assistant with a physical body would be able to convey much more information than the current voice-only agents.
ObEN’s proprietary speech, computer vision, and NLP technologies are built using deep learning techniques.
Gestures and Emotions
Right now, your AI is audio-only. But this is about to change, and you could be having face-to-face interactions with your AI assistant.
ObEN's #technology is making a splash worldwide. Here we are featured in @LaRepubblica_it Grazie to our #Italian followers! #PersonalAI #ArtificialIntelligence #MachineLearning #3DAvatar https://t.co/NSMDGAkGUh pic.twitter.com/pCZhZnfBbG
— ObEN (@ObenMe) December 22, 2017
For instance, your AI assistant’s facial expressions could show emotions, gestures like a simple nod could provide feedback, and movements like pointing to a direction could suggest what to do next. It also stands to reason that a dialogue or a conversation becomes more engaging when you are able to see the other party. According to a report by BGR, ObEN has raised $5 million from a group led by Tencent.
Many companies are working on similar AI technologies that are aimed at making human interactions personal. For instance, New Zealand-based Soul Machines uses Neural Networks that combine biologically inspired models of the human brain and key sensory networks to create a virtual central nervous system that they call a “Human Computing Engine.”
Another company called Existor has come up with a range of AIs, such as Evie, Boi, Pwedie, Will, and Chim. Evie, who is more popular on YouTube, is an advanced, emotional chatbot avatar. She can speak several languages.
It remains to be seen how this technology will help human beings after it goes mainstream.