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The generation of digital humans (avatars) is a process that increasingly uses artificial intelligence (AI).
And the power of generative AI is now coming to avatars. This can have far-reaching implications for businesses, including customer experience and support.
Today, Israeli startup D-ID announced the launch of its new chat chat.d-id, which combines its widely used digital human platform with Large Language Models (LLMs) for conversational AI. D-ID’s eponymous platform has been used to generate over 100 million lifelike digital humans over the past two years. D-ID’s core platform allows anyone to simply upload a new image or choose from an existing inventory of pre-built avatars that are capable of vocalizing text-to-speech using different voices and in different languages.
Generative AI integration now allows avatars to benefit from real-time streaming that provides a conversational AI approach. So instead of just a one-way text-to-speech vocalization, D-ID avatars can now converse and provide responses to real humans. The D-ID technology is also being extended with an application programming interface (API) that will allow developers to create custom conversational AI avatar experiences for enterprise use cases.
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“This is an evolution of the digital person of just having one-way communication,” Gil Perry, CEO and co-founder of D-ID, told VentureBeat. “The streaming feature allows our partners and developers to build products that allow you to chat with your avatar in real time.”
Putting a human (digital) face on conversational AI for enterprise
Chatbots are perhaps one of the most common conversational AI use cases today.
With a chatbot, a customer can interact with a vendor’s support service. In 2023, an emerging trend was the integration of chatbots with LLM technology, ChatGPT being perhaps the most notable. One thing most chatbots have in common is that they are text based, some also using audio. But Perry’s goal is to provide a more personalized experience with a realistic digital human avatar.
The aim of chat.d-id is not just to integrate into an existing LLM, but to help companies customize a generative AI model for a specific business and its operations. Chat.d-id’s approach isn’t just about providing answers, it’s also about automation, Perry said. It has the ability to perform operations such as updating a customer’s account or changing a service level.
“So instead of trying to figure out how to operate your new computer or app or website, you just talk to it (like you would) talk to a person, because you don’t want to talk to text as it’s harder to understand,” Perry said. “We humans are programmed to communicate with humans.”
Extending avatars for companies with API
The ability to programmatically integrate with an existing enterprise application workflow is critical to enabling adoption, Perry said. That’s where the APIs now fit in.
With the API, Perry said, developers will have full access to the features of the chat.d-id platform, allowing a company to customize and integrate an avatar into an existing user experience workflow. He said he also expects enterprise developers to build entirely new support workflows around the API that help improve the user experience.
Perry said d-id has a session on its API at the upcoming Nvidia GTC conference. The company will go into detail about how it works and can be implemented by developers.
“The vision here is to disrupt how humans interact with anything digital,” Perry said.
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