Newshub feature by Simon Shepherd | Newshub | 24 November 2017

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Breaking into America is a milestone for any Kiwi start-up and the latest has done it with a digital human.

You may not have heard of this company, but its showreel has everything from buildings to special effects, all designed on its software.

Soul Machines™ makes artificial intelligence ‘human-like’ and one of its creations will be the new face of a global software company.

Autodesk turns over $2 billion, and it’s come to downtown Auckland and Kiwi company Soul Machines™ for the latest in artificial intelligence customer service.

“[It’s] our first big US customers, so that’s always a big milestone for a Kiwi start up,” says Soul Machines™ chief business officer Greg Cross.

Autodesk’s current customer service chatbot will be replaced with Ava.

“Ava is a virtual customer service agent, to bring a whole new level of personalisation and brand experience to that customer experience on a day-to-day basis,” Mr Cross says.

Soul Machines™ digital humans are avatars with a central nervous system that can be mapped to show how they respond.

Soul Machines™ says these machines will be more useful to us and more natural to interact with.

New Zealand’s tech sector is now our third biggest export industry – and Soul Machines™ is now an important part of that growth.