Samsung Neon: All you need to know about Samsung's AI human tech to be unveiled at CES 2020

There is confirmation on the Neon Twitter handle that this project has got nothing to do with Samsung's voice assistant, Bixby.

One of Samsung Electronics' subsidiaries, Neon, had come to life on Twitter in mid-December last year. This has certainly created a lot of buzz as we look forward to the Consumer Electronics Show 2020 (CES) where it will be unveiled.

Neon is a venture that is funded by Samsung and is headed by its research executive, Pranav Mistry. Mistry became famous after his jaw-dropping TED Talk back in 2009 which was about a gesture-based technology he was working on back then. After joining Samsung as a global VP in 2012, he was named the CEO of the Bay Area-based Samsung Technology and Advanced Research Labs (STAR Labs). The first product of this venture is called Neon.

Samsung Neon AI project. Image: Neon

Samsung Neon AI project. Image: Neon

Starting mid-December, there has been a lot of speculation as to what Neon is exactly. The venture has been tweeting out teasers with a focus on the word Artificial Intelligence. Its LinkedIn page says, "Neon is bringing science fiction to reality. It is home to the best of the best scientists, mathematicians, engineers, strategists, and designers from all around the globe, with the mission to imagine and create a better future for all." The website just has an animation with a timer counting down to the official announcement. It's less than 24 hours to go now.

Mistry has called Neon as Artificial Human. There is also confirmation on the NEON Twitter handle that this project has got nothing to do with Samsung's voice assistant, Bixby.

On 5 Jan, Mistry shared two images of what seems like digital avatars of humans. He is calling the technology CORE R3. "It can now autonomously create new expressions, new movements, new dialog (even in Hindi), completely different from the original captured data," tweeted Mistry.

Just a couple of days ago, some unlisted videos extracted from the source code of NEON's homepage, revealing a bit more about the project were put up on Reddit. While these videos have since been taken down, a compilation video by Good Content | Tech gives a good idea of what one can expect.

The video starts off with what looks like four human beings talking to you, except that the voice-over later tells us that these are artificial humans. The facial expressions of these avatars seem quite close to life and if one weren't to have any inkling of the project, it would seem as though you are watching real video footage. The probable use case of these real-life human avatars could be for entertainment, business purposes, acting as guides or reporters or receptionists and much more. All of this is just speculation at this point of time.

Back in December, in an interview with Livemint, Mistry mentioned digital humans in daily life as one of his major idea for the future. "While films may disrupt our sense of reality, “virtual humans" or “digital humans" will be a 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."

One can only guess that this is the basic premise of the Neon from the video above.

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