NEWS: Newsroom features FaceMe

Newsroom has featured FaceMe commentary on the proliferation of Digital Humans in New Zealand.

Excerpt from Newsroom:

“One of the biggest digital trends of 2018 has been the rise of virtual assistants. But forget Siri, Alexa and chatbots. Those are old-school technologies now. The new wave of virtual assistants are AI-powered 3D avatars, otherwise known as “digital humans.”

Digital humans are popping up everywhere…

Some of the biggest corporations in New Zealand now utilise digital humans, typically as customer service solutions… Vodafone and ASB are among FaceMe’s clients.

Digital humans are built using a combination of 3D video, facial and speech recognition, biometric data and machine learning. The idea is that you have a face-to-face conversation with these apps, just as you would with another person.

But why use a digital human interface at all? In an interview with the Future Tech podcast in September, FaceMe CEO Danny Tomsett suggested that digital human technology is most useful when replies need to go beyond a set script.

Digital humans are helpful “when it comes to coaching or advisory roles,” Tomsett explained, “or experiences where emotion actually can influence – where persuasion might be needed, or empathy is needed because of a customer service inquiry.”

Digital human technology is also better at responding to people in real time, thanks to the sense-based data it is able to process with its machine learning algorithms. That is, what the digital human can see in your facial expressions and hear in the tone of your voice.

“The problem with a lot of chatbots,” Tomsett continued in the podcast, “is that sometimes the intent [of your question] is met, but we’re not that satisfied with the answer.”

A digital human, on the other hand, can see if you’re disappointed with the answer and try to respond appropriately.

Whether it’s helping you select a new mobile phone at a Vodafone store, or telling you to bin the fresh fruit at Auckland Airport, digital humans are here now and ready to serve.”

Read the full article.