PRESS: Media coverage on Soul Machines™ Digital DNA™ launch

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Soul Machines launches Digital DNAplatform for lifelike virtual assistants

Soul Machines™ has produced a number of what it calls “digital humans” such as a lifelike avatar baby and assistants for customers like Mercedes-Benz, Royal Bank of Scotland, and Autodesk, which commissioned its customer service agent Ava.

Soul machineslaunches digital DNA

Soul Machines™ says over the past four years, it has been capturing the digital DNA™ – which includes intelligence and physical characteristics – from each digital human it has created to construct a virtual gene pool.

HOT OFF THE PRESS: Soul Machines™ launches Digital DNA™, a critical component in the future of Customer Experience

Digital Gene Pool Makes It Easy to Produce Highly Realistic Digital Humans in Minutes

Media Release | December 13, 2018 

 

 

Soul Machines™, a ground-breaking company re-imagining how humans connect with machines, is launching Digital DNA™ to give brands the ability to create and deploy a diverse range of highly realistic digital humans.

The future of customer experience is being driven by the democratization of personal service and the delivery of specialized knowledge and Artificial Intelligence is a great platform for delivering this specialized knowledge. Soul Machines™ personalizes customer experience through face-to-face interactions with its lifelike digital humans and its unique ability to create engaging customer connections based on the emotional responsiveness of Soul Machines™’ Human Computing Engine™, which works like a virtual nervous system.

Soul Machines™ has already set new industry standards with lifelike digital humans built for some of the most innovative brands today including Autodesk, Mercedes Benz, Royal Bank of Scotland and ANZ Bank. Soul Machines™ is able to autonomously animate each digital human in real-time by synthesizing human behavior, setting itself far ahead in in the industry with a combination of the most realistic digital humans and the most advanced real-time animation in the world. Soul Machines™’ digital humans continue to become more advanced over time with their patented cognitive models learning from each user interaction in the same way humans learn.

Production time for Soul Machines™’ digital humans is already among the lowest in the industry, taking two to three months. Now, with Digital DNA™, individuals and companies can create unlimited numbers of digital humans to better serve and support their customers, fans and prospects online. Using Digital DNA™, companies can determine the color of eyes, shape of face, hair and skin color, age and even determine how many wrinkles and skin blemishes to show.

“The process of creating lifelike digital humans is time-intensive. Just look at the video game or movie industry where new releases take years to complete and huge investments,” said Greg Cross, Chief Business Officer, Soul Machines™. “We are proud to be making Soul Machines™ Digital DNA™ technology available to companies so they can supercharge their online customer experiences in a high-quality way in a short amount of time.”

“Recently, we have seen brands release avatars and digital humans that are clunky, ugly and embarrassing they look like the digital equivalent old fashioned puppets without the strings,” added Cross. “Why would you invest so heavily in the future of AI and create a terrible customer experience. We understand that it can be complex to deploy a digital human but no company should settle for less than perfection because their customers will not buy it or engage with it.”

How Was Digital DNA™ Formed

The intelligence of digital humans comes from the one-of-a-kind innovative process that uses neural networks to combine biologically inspired models of the human brain and key sensory networks. Together they create a virtual central nervous system called the Human Computing Engine™. The digital human comes to life when you “plug” the engaging and interactive artificial humans into the cloud-based Human Computing Engine™ and the result is an emotionally responsive, artificial human with personality and character that allows machines to talk to humans face-to-face.

The models of the 3D faces Soul Machines™ creates are as close to the real thing as possible and are an important instrument of emotional expression and engagement between people. Soul Machines™ models the face in detail, from the way the facial muscles create complex expressions all the way through the eyes that react to images relayed by a computer camera.

Digital DNA™ has been created and captured over the last four years through the numerous Soul Machines™ created digital humans, including their intelligence and physical characteristics. The company has captured this digital DNA™ from each digital human it has created to construct a virtual gene pool. This gene pool is used to synthesize new digital humans by blending Digital DNA™ together. This allows Soul Machines™ to create a completely new digital human in minutes versus the months it previously took.

Digital DNA™ is also changing the model for licensing the digital likeness of real humans.

PRESS: “The success of today will be gone if you don’t transform” says Daimler Financial Services CIO

Article as featured on informationweek | december 6, 2018

Daimler Financial Services CIO Says: Don’t Get Comfortable

Daimler Financial Services CIO Udo Neumann says you may be successful today, but unless you transform and innovate, that success will be gone.

The economy is strong, your IT department is humming along, and you’ve invested in some value-creating programs. Everything looks good, right?

But here’s some advice for 2019. Don’t get comfortable. The comfort zone is a danger zone. That’s according to Udo Neumann, Global CIO at Daimler Financial Services, the financial services provider of Mercades Benz automaker Daimler AG.

Neumann’s organization has taken some risks over the past few years, and he shared a few of them, along with some other tips, with CIOs and other IT professionals at the recent Gartner Symposium event in Orlando, Florida.

 Udo Neumann (Image: Daimler) Udo Neumann (Image: Daimler)

Take risks. That may be a hard message for sometimes risk-averse IT professionals, but it’s a timely one for the current business and IT environment, where markets are disrupted and innovation keeps accelerating at what seems like an exponential pace. Hesitate and you may lose your opportunity. Stop to consider your options for too long and your competitors or a previously unknown startup may sneak in and take your market share.

Neumann said that it is essential for IT organizations to get out of the comfort zone, to take risks, to fail, to learn, and then to pivot. But just because you take risks and fail doesn’t mean you don’t learn from your lessons.

“But don’t make the same mistake three or four times,” he said. “That’s not what failing means.”

Neumann has spent two and a half years as global CIO for Daimler Financial Services, and has worked in other senior IT positions around the world for Daimler companies before that.

A key component for success is people and culture, he said, and at Daimler, he has created the concept of “swarms,” virtual global teams that pull from different functions and geographies that come together based on “capabilities and passion,” he said.

“We give them a problem and we give them the freedom,” Neumann said. The swarm work becomes their full-time job for that period of time. “It’s not in the evening from 5 to 7, and it’s not as an extra task.”

Headless content delivery is seeing rapid adoption as a way to manage digital experiences across the ever-expanding number of channels customers interact with.

Here’s one example — blockchain. There’s so much buzz about this distributed ledger system in the last year, yet organizations don’t always know what sort of problems blockchain can solve. That’s a perfect place to send a swarm. Neumann said that swarms can analyze the technology to determine what it can do, what use cases make sense, where the technology will work and where it won’t work. The swarm created a Blockchain Factory within the company that is working on the right ways to apply blockchain within Daimler Financial Services.

 Image: Pixabay Image: Pixabay

Disrupt yourself

Neumann said another way to take the risks needed to stay ahead is to disrupt yourself. He said the company sent six people to a lab in Southern California and told them to be creative and disrupt the company’s business model.

“Why? Because if you don’t do it then somebody else may do it,” he said. The small team created a small company called AutoGravity that created an app (and a small company) to help consumers shop for cars and car loans.  Today there are 200 people at that office in California, Neumann said.

Artificial intelligence

More recently, Daimler made a strategic investment in a company called Soul Machines™, a New Zealand-based firm that is working on the combined use of artificial and emotional intelligence. Daimler and Soul Machines™ first debuted what they call a digital avatar named Sarah in February, and since then “she” has answered frequently asked customer questions during an internal pilot at one of the company’s call centers in the US, according to Daimler. Daimler Financial Services plans to use the technology to continue to “support customers like a personal concierge,” the company said in a statement announcing the investment.

Neumann said, “After successfully testing how artificial intelligence helps our employees better service customers, we are now investing in a disruptive technology to further enhance the customer experience.”

Neumann believes that CIOs need to define their vision and disrupt their own businesses.

“The success of today will be gone if you don’t transform,” he said.