Synthesia Launches Expressive Avatars

Synthesia Launches Expressive Avatars

Synthesia, a London-based AI startup backed by NVIDIA, has unveiled its latest innovation: "Expressive Avatars." These AI-generated digital avatars can convey a range of human emotions, including happiness, sadness, and frustration, based on user-provided text inputs.

The company's EXPRESS-1 model powers these avatars, predicting every movement and facial expression in real-time, aligning them seamlessly with the timings, intonations, and emphasis of spoken language. This results in performances that are astonishingly naturalistic and human-like, setting a new standard in the industry.

Synthesia says that its technology is already being used by more than 55,000 businesses, including half of the Fortune 100, to create digital avatars for corporate presentations and training videos. The company raised $90 million from investors last year at a valuation of around $1 billion, making it one of Britain's more recent AI "unicorn" firms.

The potential use cases for Expressive Avatars are vast, ranging from enhanced employee onboarding experiences to interactive customer support. In a blog post announcing the new feature, the company describes one use case:

Imagine for example the typical onboarding experience for a new hire: today, it’s a static video which is still an improvement over a lengthy document.
But soon you’ll be able to recreate the entire workplace experience inside our platform, with AI avatars that can move around in three dimensional spaces and communicate with you or other avatars, showing you around the workspace, helping you find a meeting room, teaching you about your company and its products, or introducing you to your colleagues before you’ve met them in real life.

Tanuja Randery, EMEA MD at Amazon Web Services, one of the first companies to get early access to this technology, said, "I experienced first-hand having my own avatar created for my keynote at AWS Summit London, and saw the potential for this technology to deliver engaging business communications in many different languages and scenarios that simply wouldn't be possible otherwise."

Synthesia has addressed concerns over the potential misuse of its technology by requiring publishers to sign up as enterprise customers and undergo a thorough "Know Your Customer" process. The company also moderates content and is preparing for upcoming global elections by implementing controls to prevent the manipulation of votes.

They are also a member of the Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity, and have committed to ensuring viewers know when content is AI-generated through digital watermarking and content credentials.

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