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Current Affairs

NEON: The Virtual Human

Date: 14 January 2020 Tags: Fourth Industrial Revolution

Issue

The first project of Samsung’s Star Labs, NEONs are being called the world’s first artificial humans.  They look and behave like real humans, and could one day develop memories and emotions.

 

Background

Star Labs is Samsung Technology & Advanced Research Labs (not to be confused with the fictional labs of DC Comics), an independent project funded by the Korean tech giant.

 

Details

  • NEONs are computationally created virtual humans — the word derives from NEO (new) + humaN. For now the virtual humans can show emotions when manually controlled by their creators.

  • But the idea is for NEONs to become intelligent enough to be fully autonomous, showing emotions, learning skills, creating memories, and being intelligent on their own.

  • Star Labs started work on NEONs by trying to replicate a friend. Initially, the models were trained on his face, and there were significant errors. But then, they started getting better, almost indistinguishable from the original.

  • There are two core technologies behind his virtual humans. First, there is the proprietary CORE R3 technology that drives the reality, real time and responsiveness  behind NEONs.

  • It is like a rendition engine, converting the mathematical models to look like actual humans. At the moment the latency for response is less than a few milliseconds.

  • The next stage will be SPECTRA, which will complement CORE R3 with the spectrum of intelligence, learning, emotions and memory.

  • Company sees a world in which NEONs are the interface for technologies and services. They will answer your queries at a bank, welcome you at a restaurant, or read out the breaking news on television at an unearthly hour.

Virtual assistants and NEONs

Virtual Assistants now learn from all the data they are plugged into. NEONs will be limited to what they know and learn. Their leaning could potentially be limited to the person they are catering to, and maybe her friends, but not the entire Internet.