From Avatar to King Kong, advanced computer-generated imagery (CGI) and motion capture technology created hyper-realistic, high quality, animated experiences for movies, television, games and augmented reality.
Technology now makes it possible for these same characters to interact, learn and express themselves in human ways – and in 1:1 interactions – to varying degrees. But adding artificial intelligence (AI) to CGI – and suggesting this creates Digital Humans – is far from what’s real or even possible.
Different approaches to creating Digital Humans will result in different outcomes – both for the user and for the brands and businesses investing in them. A fully autonomous Digital Human is radically different in experience and functions than a Digital Puppet. Seeing through the smoke and mirrors of high-tech marketing requires a clear definition and taxonomy for understanding the new generation of Digital Humans that will soon surround us.
Some are either 2D video recordings or relatively low-quality CGI characters with plastic-looking skin and non-life-like muscle structures. These are presented as so-called “interactive” performances with poor and disjointed animation. What is presented is a mash up of decidedly non-AI animation techniques – largely discarded by Hollywood and the Games Industry.
A new generation of Digital Heroes, pioneered by Soul Machines, represent the next evolutionary advance in combining the quality of hyper-realistic CGI with a fully autonomous, fully animated CGI or digital character.