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What are digital humans?

What are digital humans

Chatbots are digital programs powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing. They recognize how human users sound and understand what they say when speaking.

When prompted, they provide automated responses, which simulate human conversation. Chatbots are the better choice for consumers who only want to ask a quick question. 

In recent years, the concept of digital humans was introduced. They are a more advanced version of chatbots – smarter and more expressive. They’re robots that look and sound like humans and can intelligently converse like one. 

Since the introduction of these human-like AIs, more improvements have arisen, as well as controversy.

This article explains digital humans, their functions, and the risks that come with them. Learn how different industries can benefit from them. 

Defining digital humans

Digital humans are independent, three-dimensional, artificially intelligent entities. 

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They are human-like in appearance, and they can also replicate human traits such as facial expressions and physical movements. This technology breakthrough is programmed to interact intelligently with real people. 

Defining digital humans
Defining digital humans

Because digital humans look and sound like humans, they are more engaging to consumers than chatbots. They also provide a more meaningful experience due to their resemblance to humans, similar to talking to a friend.

They may be intentionally designed in the likeness of a real human being. You can even make yourself a digital twin – or a fictional character by inputting prompts and descriptions.

A disclaimer must be established with works of fiction. Digital humans may unintentionally resemble real human beings in physical appearance, names, or personality.

For a digital human to function, it relies on a combination of technologies such as AI, natural language processing and generation, and advanced 3D modeling.

Together, these technologies make digital humans the way they are.

Applications of digital humans in various industries 

Digital humans are an interactive tool that provides information and assists users. They are similar to Apple Inc.’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa but much more advanced.

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Compared to chatbots, a digital human is a better option for communicating complicated instructions and lengthy product or service descriptions to users.

Digital humans are also evolving user experience to create a more meaningful and emotionally-driven service.

The following are some of the sectors leveraging this technology into their own advantage:

Customer support

Other businesses utilize digital humans for customer service and client support.

Because they look like human beings, real people are more likely to engage with and trust them.

This means they can help your company to increase customer engagement, complete sales, and reduce the likelihood of product returns. 

Education and training

Digital humans are set to radically change the nature of instruction by providing AI-driven tools for education and training. Digital teachers can be set to operate 24/7 for learners’ convenience.

Additionally, they can reach more people by being available online, rendering user location irrelevant. A digital human can also be trained to converse in different languages and easily switch between them for accessibility. 

Healthcare

Healthcare is another industry that digital humans are revolutionizing. Their help makes simulations of medical scenarios much easier to create and use for medical training. 

Gaming 

Since video games were invented, there has been a lot of development in graphics, world-building, storytelling, and mechanics. A digital human can only bring more to the plate.

In video games, there are characters you can interact with but never play as; they’re called non-playable characters (NPCs). They usually have quite a limited set of dialogue. There isn’t much point in programming them to have infinite dialogue that would most likely be one-sided.

However, with digital humans, this can change for the better. They can play the role of NPCs but with the quality of being completely interactive. This makes for a much more immersive and enjoyable video game experience.

Virtual influencers

More and more self-proclaimed influencers surface every day. A digital human can also work as an influencer or a brand ambassador. 

A company can create a digital human mascot that advertises products and services. Like in customer service, a digital human would be more trustworthy and interesting than a chatbot. 

Additionally, with good programming, they can advertise your company well without boring them nor sounding like sales agents. 

Risks that come with digital humans

Technology proves itself increasingly useful as time goes by. However, it still has its negative effects. 

Digital humans, as you can imagine, come with risks. Some of them are:

User privacy

People are likely to put trust in a digital human, as established. But this time, let’s look at it in a different light. 

People who trust a digital human are likely to share personal and confidential information. This creates a problem for user privacy and calls for the need for regulations on privacy protection.

Risks that come with digital humans
Risks that come with digital humans

Robots doing human jobs

Technology is advancing quickly. It’s true that this makes a lot of things easier for humans, but there is the risk of us being driven out of purpose in many industries. 

Slowly, the need for human talent in certain jobs is decreasing. With these human-like virtual entities, this is all-the-more likely. They can easily replace administrative workers, for instance. 

This is a risk that needs to be paid attention to as it could negatively affect the lives of multiple people and their families. 

Implications on socialization

Some people may have difficulty making friendships with real humans. This causes a risk of people treating digital humans as sentient beings with whom they can have emotional relationships. 

In addition, people may have human friends but no longer have any interest in physical interaction with each other. They may rely on their digital twins to represent them.

This may have negative implications on human relationships as well as the social, physical, and even mental well-being of humans. 

Human children with digital teachers

A child’s mind is very impressionable; it’s still developing even by the time a child reaches the age of 12. See article about a 12-year-old child’s development milestones here.

Children learn how to live by observing adult models in their lives. That is the natural process that children of all eras have experienced. Having a digital teacher at such an early age will disrupt this process.

Human teachers are more equipped to teach children. Not only do they have training and experience, but they are also a better fit to raise children. Keep in mind that children may spend around 30 hours a week in school with their teachers. 

The future of digital humans

No matter what we do, technology will continue to evolve. We must learn to accept this and adapt to it. Better yet, we should figure out how it can best benefit us. 

As you have read in this article, a digital human can improve your business’ sales and customer support.

As long as you keep the risks in mind and work around them, employing digital humans will always do you more good than not. 

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