Unveiling the era of digital humans: A fusion of metahuman potential and AI

In a world propelled by technological innovation, the emergence of digital humans marks a pivotal moment in the evolution of human-machine interaction. Blurring the lines between reality and virtuality, digital humans embody the convergence of advanced artificial intelligence and hyper-realistic simulation techniques, giving rise to a new breed of entities with unprecedented capabilities and applications.

The rise of digital humans

Digital humans represent a convergence of cutting-edge technologies, blending lifelike visual representation with sophisticated AI-driven behaviours. They are computer-generated avatars that emulate human appearance, gestures, and interactions, bridging the gap between the virtual and physical realms.

Tools for creating digital humans

Creating digital humans involves a combination of software tools and technologies. Here is a selection of a few essential tools.

Character creation software

  • MetaHuman Creator (by Epic Games): A cloud-based app for creating highly realistic digital humans.
  • Daz 3D: Software for creating customisable 3D human models.
  • MakeHuman: An open-source tool for creating 3D human models.

3D modelling software

  • Blender: A free and open-source 3D creation suite.
  • Autodesk Maya: A professional 3D modelling and animation software.
  • ZBrush: A digital sculpting tool for creating detailed character models.

Animation software

  • Mixamo: An online platform that provides rigging and animations for 3D characters.
  • iClone: A real-time 3D animation software.
  • Adobe Character Animator: Allows you to animate characters using your own artwork and webcam.

Motion capture

  • Perception Neuron: Affordable motion capture suits.
  • Kinect: Microsoft's motion-sensing device can be used for basic motion capture.
  • Leap Motion: A hand-tracking device for capturing detailed hand movements.

Facial animation

  • Faceware: Provides facial motion capture and animation software.
  • Apple ARKit: Used with iPhones for facial tracking and animation.

Voice and speech:

  • Replica Studios: AI-driven voice acting for digital characters.
  • Amazon Polly: Converts text to lifelike speech.
  • Google Text-to-Speech: Provides natural-sounding speech synthesis.

AI and machine learning:

  • TensorFlow: An open-source machine learning framework.
  • PyTorch: Another popular open-source machine learning library.
  • OpenAI GPT: For creating natural language understanding and generation capabilities.

Integration and development:

  • Unreal Engine: A powerful game engine for integrating and rendering digital humans.
  • Unity: Another game engine popular for creating interactive experiences.

By combining these tools, you can create and animate digital humans that can see, understand, and interact just like real people.

Use cases in financial services, healthcare, and life sciences

  1. Financial services: Digital humans serve as virtual financial advisors, offering personalised investment recommendations, conducting risk assessments, and guiding users through complex financial decisions. Benefits include enhanced accessibility, scalability, and cost-efficiency while maintaining a human touch in customer interactions.
  2. Healthcare: In healthcare, digital humans function as virtual caregivers, providing patient education, monitoring chronic conditions, and delivering telehealth services. They improve healthcare access, streamline administrative processes, and empower patients to manage their health proactively, leading to better outcomes and reduced healthcare costs.
  3. Life sciences: Digital humans contribute to medical training and research by simulating patient cases, modelling disease progression, and facilitating drug discovery simulations. They accelerate innovation, enable data-driven decision-making, and foster collaboration among researchers and clinicians, ultimately advancing medical knowledge and improving patient care.

Here are a few examples of how digital humans are being used. Samsung has introduced NEON, an artificial human project, which aims to create lifelike digital avatars that can interact with users in real-time. ASB Bank, based in New Zealand, has incorporated digital humans into its customer service operations to enhance the banking experience for its customers. Southern Cross Health Society, a leading health insurance provider in New Zealand, has also embraced digital humans to enhance customer service and engagement.

In an era defined by the ever-evolving relationship between technology and human interaction, digital humans emerge as pioneers in this transformative journey, heralding a future where creativity, empathy, and genuineness intertwine to revolutionise our virtual horizons.

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