Samsung, the Korea-based conglomerate dealing in all kinds of home equipment and smart technology, will debut its artificial human at the CES 202 in Las Vegas. Named Project NEON, the company has been teasing about it on social media without revealing many details.
The website for this project carries a countdown clock to the event on January 7 when the big reveal will take place.
There are also Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts for NEON. The company is keeping the interest going with teasers and questions like, “Have you ever met an ‘artificial’?” Do you know “Core R3”? R3 stands for“reality, realtime, responsive.”
Samsung is keeping any detailed information about the project under wraps. Going by the various news reports, NEON was developed by Samsung’s US-based STAR outfit (“STAR,” for Samsung Technology and Advanced Research Lab), which is headed up by Pranav Mistry, Samsung’s bright technology star and youngest executive.
Samsung has been emphatic about NEON not being a reboot of its virtual assistant Bixby, or artificial intelligence. It is using terms like an artificial human or artificial intelligence being to describe NEON.
Pranav Mistry, heading the project, was earlier senior vice-president of Samsung Electronics and is a computer and AI expert. He has been promoting NEON on his twitter account too, and urging celebrity friends and followers to help spread the message. In an interview, he has said that movies have already brought in CGI characters (Blade Runner) into being, and now it is time to make the virtual reality. “A digital human could extend its role to become a part of our everyday lives: a virtual news anchor, virtual receptionist, or even an AI-generated film star,” he added.
Initial reports point towards it being some sort of a digital CGI avatar that users can interact with. It can serve in the customer service department, as an almost human face of a company acting as a receptionist or can be used in the entertainment industry.
LetsGoDigital, a website that keeps track of all new things in the tech world, says that Samsung America research has registered the US trademarks for “NEON Artificial Human,” “NEON.Life,” and “Core R3”. The patents list the NEON project as:
Entertainment services, namely, production of special effects including model-making services, computer-generated imagery and computer-generated graphics for the production of motion pictures, videos and movie trailers; augmented reality video production; creating computer generated characters; design and development of computer-modeled versions of human beings using computer animation for use in movies, television, internet and other applications; design and development of software for virtual characters; creating for others custom computer-generated imagery, animations, simulations and models used for entertainment.
There is a similar detailed description of Core3, which says it can be used to download, publish, and edit virtual characters and associated software.
Samsung plans to launch five new projects, including SelfieType, and a smart highlighter Hyler. CES, the 53rd edition of the world’s largest tech show, will be held from January 7 to January 10 in Las Vegas. It will showcase more than 4.500 companies and startups. The show attracts nearly 200,000 people.