Human cooperation is one of the most important forces in history. It has helped people eradicate polio, reach the moon, and sequence the entire human genome. As the world becomes increasingly virtual, human cooperation with machines will unlock even greater innovations and milestones for humanity. In order to reach that potential, we must upskill our machines to have more empathetic, congenial, and natural interactions with us at scale.
Innovators have already used current AI technology to achieve a wide range of impressive specific outcomes. Machine learning algorithms have enabled computers to hear and see at near-human levels—think of the image, facial, and speech recognition capabilities in your favorite devices. Other models allow you to use online AI tools to generate new visual art, literature, or musical compositions based on previous artworks. As impressive as these advancements may be, we are only starting to see the many applications of AI. Rather than harnessing AI to complete specific tasks, we must create a collaborative system in which machines can co-create valuable, relevant content with humans.
As things stand today, humans who want to work with machines must perform unnatural actions. We strap ourselves into cars and work their complex controls. We navigate the intricacies of an operating system so that we can access our applications and documents. The paradigm needs to shift to machines learning to navigate human behaviors in order to foster collaboration. As a company, it is our goal to humanize artificial intelligence. We have a fundamental belief that machines can be more helpful and collaborative if they can interact with us in a natural way, which led us to build a Digital Brain to enable those lifelike interactions. Digital People are biologically inspired agents that do not pretend to be human but have lifelike characteristics uniquely suited for the way we communicate. They create a safe, engaging, scalable, and robust brand experience that enables multi-channel communication, builds relationships, and creates trust.
To refocus the world’s efforts with AI, Soul Machines proposes a standard that describes how humans and machines should collaborate to co-create. Soul Machines presented this standard, Autonomous Animation, in 2019 to define how innovators can combine sophisticated algorithms and embody them in a human-friendly form factor to foster a collaborative environment in which Digital People can behave naturally.
Autonomous Animation is:
Soul Machines uses “Animation” to describe any action output or behaviors of the system. This process is similar to how certain areas of the human brain, when activated, work in concert with the body to appropriately interpret and respond to the world.
To measure success in using AI, Soul Machines is proposing our Levels of Autonomous Animation, which focuses on increasing the “easy to work with” score of machines. As technology increases in sophistication, it will transform the user’s relationship with the machine from subordinate to symbiotic.
Soul Machines’ Approach to Autonomous Animation
Soul Machines’ approach to Autonomous Animation is rooted in its belief that the best experience and interactions are only possible when the machine is able to interact in a lifelike way, driven by a computer architecture that is inspired by how the human brain operates.
This is exactly the goal of Soul Machines’ HumanOS. Researchers have created a Digital Brain to replicate the way humans handle everyday interactions. By combining models of physiology, cognition, and emotion, Soul Machines has created a new form of biologically inspired AI. The Digital Brain’s neural network models are driven by deep research into neuroscience, psychology, and cognitive science—and are the only explainable way to autonomously animate digital characters. Soul Machines takes the best types of human conversations—engaging, warm, emotional connections—and combines them with revolutionary technology to create the most lifelike and dynamically interactive experiences. It’s a scalable and cost-effective way to animate for customer experience, learning and development (L&D), and education and health, areas where face-to-face interactions should be thoughtful, engaging, and unique in the same way each human interaction is.
Soul Machines believes that it will take a global effort to advance through the Levels of Autonomous Animation and that the solution will most likely be a combination of algorithms from a variety of organizations and individuals. Hence, Soul Machines has built a platform that enables these algorithms and the company’s own proprietary, innovative architecture and cognitive models to work in tandem and improve the overall experience.
Soul Machines’ Autonomous Animation platform:
What This Means for Soul Machines’ Customers
Through Autonomous Animation, Soul Machines aims to deliver a personalized experience at scale. This experience will enable deeper, more personal relationships with customers and more thoughtful, multimodal engagement. It will also come with a lower cost of ownership. The goal, of course, is not to replace real people with Digital People—it’s to let organizations provide highly personalized, face-to-face customer experiences that might be too expensive, or even impossible, to deliver with humans.
One obvious use case is to deploy Digital People to assist a help desk that’s flooded by customer or employee questions. Whereas human help desk agents get tired of answering the same questions repeatedly and may let this affect their mood and tone, Digital People excel at staying cheerful while providing fast, accurate answers. This approach can help your organization contain costs and free up your people for challenging, complex problems that require creativity and human intelligence to solve.
An even more timely use case is to deploy Digital People to solve brand connectedness issues in our COVID and post-COVID world. If lockdown restrictions prevent your business from expanding into a new geography, you can use Digital People to speak to potential new customers in the appropriate languages. Because Digital People are broadcast from the cloud onto devices, you can have 100 or 100,000 Digital People representing your brand at any given moment—and design them in the ethnicities, ages, and genders that will best resonate with your target market.
Whilst humans may experience emotion fatigue through the daily course of the workday, Digital People can consistently deliver the highly personal, empathetic interaction that customers seek every time.
The Levels of Autonomous Animation
To measure success, Soul Machines is proposing the Levels of Autonomous Animation that focuses on raising the “easy to work with” score of machines. The increasing sophistication of these machines will evolve the user’s role from subordination to a more symbiotic relationship.