Mon. Dec 6th, 2021


NVIDIA has steadily made its progress AI assistant technology In recent months, and now it’s clear how all the pieces fit together. The company has launched Universal incarnation (For creating 3D assistant) and Riva (Creating custom AI voice) platforms that, combined, lead to surprisingly realistic virtual personalities with relatively little effort – or, in one case, intentionally unrealistic.

Inside A demoUsed to highlight NVIDIA’s AI-powered Maxine toolkit, the company creates a universal avatar from a woman’s photo and uses Riva to train voice based on that woman, translate text into speech, and translate into different languages. Digital stand-in looks and sounds much like the real person (with the exception of a hard-word translation), and can even turn heads while maintaining a natural-looking eye contact. As you can imagine, this could be a more relevant virtual helper in kiosks and websites.

Another demo, For NVIDIA’s Project Tokkio “Talking Kiosk” reference app, shows what can happen when you create a completely artificial character. At the Tech Showcase Center, CEO Jensun Huang uses a 3D, ray-traced toy version (complete with his signature costume and a Riva-trained voice) of AI to communicate with real people on issues such as climate change and the role of proteins. Various universal systems enliven his face and hands. This is not meant to be overly authentic, but it does show how you can make a 3D virtual assistant much more compelling than an isolated voice.

Most Maxine development kits are already available. Riva is now usable in an open beta, and will be free for “small size” work Larger rollouts will depend on the Riva Enterprise program launched in early 2022. Although you have to wait longer for Omniverse Avatar. Although the Basic Omniverse platform is now in open beta, Avatar is only “under development” without any specific launch date. Still, it points to a future where an airport or favorite restaurant could provide an assistant who is (hopefully) not too robotic.

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