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AI Avatar Technology

[Stanford University]


- Overview

AI avatars, also known as digital avatars, are humanoid robots built using AI technology to facilitate human contact. 

In addition to having a humanoid appearance, digital avatars can also use natural language processing (NLP) technology to converse with people. The production of AI virtual images uses NLP algorithms, image recognition tools, VR/AR, and 3D animation technologies. After an AI avatar is created, it learns from its creator and end user. 

A digital avatar learns through algorithms and rules specified by its creator, but it also learns from interactions with users.


- AI-based Avatars

Avatar creations have come a long way since the simple pixelated sprites of the early days. Today, avatars can be highly realistic, with complex features and lifelike movements. The rise of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and deep learning (DL) has played a major role in creating these advanced avatars.

Machines are becoming better listeners and learners. They can now engage in complex thought processes and, in many ways, function very similarly to human behavior. 

Chatbots and virtual assistants like Alexa and Siri are an unseen part of our environment, whether in our homes, workplaces, cars, or the smallest wearable devices like the watches we wear on our wrists every day. 

Technology is constantly evolving into new and exciting directions. Deep learning, a subset of machine learning, now enables machines to understand conversations while simultaneously translating into any language and independently recognizing faces and objects. 

Other advances include voice control and the form of sensors that read brain waves and convert the sound waves on our skin into machine-readable text. 

But all of this is just the tip of the iceberg of AI's potential. 


- The Core Technologies of Creating AI Avatars

In terms of equipment and "brain" building of AI avatars, there are some core technologies that can be used to enhance their capabilities, including: 

  • Machine Learning: Machine learning uses past data and experience to detect human emotions and self-improvement without any explicit programming or supervision. 
  • Natural Language Processing (NLP): Allows the avatar to understand and process commands. In other words, NLP enables human language to be "understood" by computers by breaking down natural language into smaller elements, enabling machines to understand how they work together. 
  • Natural Language Generation (NLG): It helps AI avatars take data and convert it into very natural-sounding language. In fact, it's so natural that it's like a human speaking or writing. 
  • Advanced 3D Modeling: The technology enables the visualization and creation of hyperreal virtual creatures that can reproduce the peculiarities of human facial expressions and body movements. 3D modeling can be used in conjunction with motion capture.


[Haifa, Israel]

- Creating Avatars with Artificial Intelligence (AI)

One way to use AI is to create realistic facial features. For example, researchers at the University of Nottingham used AI to create a system that can generate lifelike faces from scratch. The system is based on a type of AI called a generative adversarial network (GAN), which can learn to generate realistic images by training it on a large dataset of real images.

Another use of AI in avatar creation is to achieve realistic facial expressions. This is especially important for avatars used in virtual reality or games, as users expect a high level of immersion. One way to solve this problem is to use a type of AI called a neural network to map facial expressions onto a 3D model of the avatar's face. 

The neural network can learn to recognize and map facial expressions in real time, enabling the avatar to respond to the user's expressions and movements.


- Creating Avatars with Machine Learning (ML)

Machine learning is another important tool for avatar creation. One use of ML is to personalize avatars. For example, researchers at Stanford University used ML to create avatars that accurately represent a person's body shape and movements. The system works by being trained on large datasets of body scans and motion capture data, enabling it to generate avatars that are customized for each user.

Another use of ML in avatar creation is to enable natural language processing (NLP) for avatars. This allows users to interact with avatars using voice commands, which can be a more natural and intuitive way to interact with virtual characters. ML algorithms can be used to train avatars to recognize and respond to specific voice commands, enabling more meaningful interactions with avatars.


- Creating Avatars with Deep Learning (DL)

One way deep learning is being used for avatar creation is to enable realistic motion and animation. For example, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University used DL to create a system that can automatically generate realistic animations for avatars. The system works by being trained on large amounts of motion capture data, enabling it to learn to generate realistic movements for a variety of activities.

Deep learning can also be used to enable more complex interactions with avatars. For example, researchers at MIT used DL to create a system that can detect and respond to users' nonverbal cues, such as gestures and facial expressions. This enables more natural and intuitive interactions with the avatar for a more immersive experience.



[More to come ...]



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