Samsung’s ‘artificial human’ project definitely looks like a digital avatar

On Friday we wrote about Samsung’s mysterious “artificial human” project Neon, speculating that the company was building realistic human avatars that could be used for entertainment and business purposes, acting as guides, receptionists, and more.

Now, a tweet from the project’s lead and some leaked videos pretty much confirm this — although they don’t give us nearly enough information to judge how impressive Neon is.

The lead of Neon, computer-human interaction researcher Pranav Mistry, tweeted the image below, apparently showing one of the project’s avatars. Mistry says the company’s “Core R3” technology can now “autonomously create new expressions, new movements, new dialog (even in Hindi), completely different from the original captured data.”

Unlisted videos taken from the source code on Neon’s homepage revealed even more of these same human figures. The videos were originally posted on Reddit, but have now been taken down. You can see them in the YouTube video below, though, and they do look extremely lifelike. In fact, they look just like videos — not computer-generated graphics.

And that’s the key question we have about Neon at this point: to what degree are these avatars computer-generated? Or are they based on high-fidelity video capture that’s animated after…

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