Digital Twins Are Changing How Fans Interact With Celebrities – Business Insider

Soul Machines is creating Digital Twins of celebrities with technology that could revolutionize how humans interact with AI.
Soul Machines, the leader in lifelike, autonomously animated AI, creates these Digital People™ using high-resolution image, motion, and voice capture. They are powered by unique technology the company calls “autonomous automation,” which gives these Digital Twins a star’s likeness, facial expressions, mannerisms, and speech. 
Celebrity Digital Twins leverage artificial intelligence and extensive capture technology, so they can respond to unscripted questions, register emotional cues, interpret nonverbal communication, and modulate voice and expression. The result is accurate, empathic, and personalized interactions – not just scripted responses or bot-generated feedback.
“We refer to our avatars as ‘Digital People,'” said Greg Cross, CEO of Soul Machines. “We’ve trademarked the phrase because, when you’re interacting with them, they really do feel like people and have the same emotions, as if we were talking in real life.”
A pioneer of the digital workforce, Soul Machines has been creating Digital People since 2016. Digital People help online users open bank accounts, give health tips, and assist with registrations, among other use cases. Celebrity Digital Twins are different, however, because they are modeled after a real-life person, such as a Hollywood star, entertainer, or sports talent. 
The most recent Digital People include entirely new, advanced features like full-body autonomous animation, the ability to use nonverbal cues to direct users’ attention to digital content, and a dynamic understanding of what users are looking at or drawn to. Digital People can also manage what the user sees with “Cinematic Cuts,” giving them the ability to automatically change the user’s visual perspective by zooming in or out of active on-screen content.
Soul Machines revolutionized human-machine collaborations with the introduction of Baby X, created by Soul Machines cofounder and chief science officer Mark Sagar, Ph.D., FRSNZ. Baby X is a lifelike simulation of a human using the company’s patented “digital brain” technology, which animates the avatar in the same way a human brain animates the body. Soul Machines has adapted Baby X technology to empower Digital People and Digital Twins. 
The way that the AI translates responses to facial expressions, speech, and hand gestures is the core of autonomous animation – a key differentiator for Soul Machines.
Digital Twins can have an unlimited number of conversations at once, in any language, anywhere in the world where users can access the internet. 
This gives celebrities the ability to reach an unlimited number of fans – simultaneously, wherever they happen to be. More importantly, it allows them to talk with all these fans, not just at them. 
“This presents a major departure in how we think about celebrity brands, which used to be all about exclusivity and one-to-many broadcast communications,” Cross said. “Now, fans will be able to interact with a celebrity one-to-one, creating many new ways for stars to connect with their fans and monetize their brands.”
In addition to helping celebrity brands scale in new ways, Digital Twins also help stars overcome one of the biggest challenges they face in maintaining their fan base — the very human condition of aging.
Soul Machines’ advanced, proprietary technology can turn back the clock, bringing older celebrities back to their prime in digital form.
For Digital Twins, like the one created by the Nicklaus Companies to replicate golf legend Jack Nicklaus, the sophisticated AI is trained on data provided by the celebrity brand. It’s then locked into a specific age, presumably capturing the star at the prime of his career in the form of a Digital Person.
Nicklaus, winner of 18 of golf’s majors tournaments and considered one of the greatest professional athletes of all time, has been retired from the game for more than two decades. He and The Nicklaus Companies were looking for a way to preserve a legacy built around golf excellence – as a player, instructor, and course designer. 
Soul Machines began the de-aging process by doing scan and motion capture of Jack Nicklaus to assemble exact 3D data of Nicklaus’ face and how his muscles move and change during different expressions. 
Soul Machines also scanned  Nicklaus’ son, Gary, to aid in the de-aging process. This provided reference data for Nicklaus’ skin when he was younger. Finally, the de-aging results were cross-referenced against scores of photographs and video clips from the Nicklaus archives.
“We de-aged Jack Nicklaus from 2021 to the late ’70s,” Cross said. “Focusing on one anatomical region at a time, Jack’s age was meticulously reversed across the decades, and his Digital Twin will forever be 38 years old.”
Nicklaus is Soul Machine’s first sports-related celebrity Digital Twin. He won’t be its last. 
This summer, Soul Machines will launch a digital Carmelo Anthony, all-star forward for the LA Lakers. Soul Machines hopes to capture celebrity and sports talent from all backgrounds and decades with its expanded entertainment offering. 
The initial use cases for digital Jack Nicklaus focus on brand partnerships and sponsorships. This Digital Twin could help customers make a purchase on the websites of one of the many companies already affiliated with the Nicklaus Companies’ brand or other future retail collaborations.
Soul Machines has set the stage for digital celebrities to provide one-on-one experiences for customers in the metaverse. Further out, digital Jack might help users improve their swings, or even play a round of golf with them at the metaverse version of Whispering Pines golf course.
“This is just a starting point,” said Rob Sample, vice president of business development for Nicklaus Companies. “He’ll be updated as the technology, and the AI, advances.”
Soul Machines, a leader in artificial intelligence, creates autonomously animated Digital People™ in the digital worlds of today and the metaverse. The company brings Digital Workforces to life for some of the world’s biggest brands, as they innovate the future of brand interaction and personal, empathic customer experience.
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This post was created by Soul Machines with Insider Studios.


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