Info-tech

Samsung-backed STARlabs introduces artificial human 'NEON' at CES

CES Las Vegas | Updated on January 07, 2020 Published on January 07, 2020

While the world’s biggest tech show, CES, is in progress in Las Vegas and seeing the usual plethora of smartphones, televisions and other gadgets, Samsung backed STARLabs has introduced what it calls the world’s first ‘Artificial Human’ called NEON. 

NEON is described as a computationally created virtual being that looks and behaves like a real human, with the ability to show emotions and intelligence. It’s not a virtual assistant or a bot which will give you answers to questions like what’s the weather. NEONs are also not androids, surrogates, or copies of real humans. They are not an interface to the Internet to ask for cricket updates or to play your favourite music. Rather, NEONs converse and sympathise just like real humans, allowing us to bring AI where the world needs it the most.

“NEON is like a new kind of life” says CEO Pranav Mistry, who heads the project. “There are millions of species on our planet and we hope to add one more. NEONs will be our friends, collaborators, and companions, continually learning, evolving, and forming memories from their interactions.”

Each NEON is powered by the company’s proprietary technology platform - CORE R3, where R3 stands for Reality, Realtime and Responsive. CORE R3 leapfrogs in the domains of Behavioural Neural Networks, Evolutionary Generative Intelligence and Computational Reality.

The company says it is inspired by the rhythmic complexities of nature and extensively trained with how humans look, behave and interact. CORE R3 can computationally create lifelike reality that is beyond normal perception to distinguish. With a latency of less than a few milliseconds, CORE R3 makes it possible for NEONs to react and respond in real-time. CORE R3 can also connect to other domain-specific and value-added services. SPECTRA, still in development stage, will complement CORE R3 with the spectrum of Intelligence, Learning, Emotions, and Memory, thus making NEONs fully immersive.

At CES 20202, the NEON booth showcased scenarios of NEONs from many walks of life – a yoga instructor, a banker, a K-pop star, a news anchor, a fashion model and many more. Visitors witnessed live demonstrations and previewed CORE R3’s technology rendering realistic life-size NEONs on large displays, fully controllable on command. The audience could also get a look at NEONs reacting and responding in real-time.

Although Artificial Humans may borrow the likeness of or are modelled after real people, each NEON has his or her own unique personality and can show new expressions, movements, and dialogs. In the near future, one will be able to license or subscribe to a NEON as a service representative, a financial advisor, a healthcare provider, or a concierge. Over time, NEONs is meant to work as TV anchors, spokespeople, or movie actors; or they can simply be companions and friends.

“We have always dreamed of such virtual beings in science fictions and movies.” Mistry said, “NEONs will integrate with our world and serve as new links to a better future, a world where ‘humans are humans’ and ‘machines are humane’.”

Currently, NEONs don’t have a physical embodiment, but rather, are digitally composed next-generation artificial intelligent entities NEONs are Artificial Humans. Even though NEONs are virtual, they can exhibit the most important aspects of human capabilities: the ability to communicate with human affect, the ability to learn from experiences, and the ability to form new memories. NEONs can assist with goal-orientated tasks or can be personalised to assist in tasks that requires human touch. They can serve as an individualised teacher, a personal financial advisor, a healthcare provider, or a concierge. 

The plan is to continue developing the CORE R3 engine, and later this year to beta launch NEON in the real world with selected partners from around the world. STARlabs says we will hear more about SPECTRA and experience-enhanced version of CORE R3 at a special event NEONWORLD 2020.

Published on January 07, 2020
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