A Happy G’day from the scenic Harbour City. In person that greeting would be delivered with my relatively heavy Seattle accent, which is a dead giveaway that I didn’t grow up eating Vegemite or Tim Tams. More like the occasional Peanut Butter ‘n’ Jelly sandwich or Grilled Cheese. In our continuous striving to keep our readers at Digital Fixation engaged and entertained I decided to take an entirely new topic this week. We like to provide thought provoking content here at Digital Fixation so this week I’m looking into Digital humans. Have you met any? 

What is a Digital Human? 

Loosely defined, a Digital Human is an AI powered customer experience ambassador. They can see and listen to users to understand the meaning behind your words. And they are able to use their own tone of voice and body language to create lifelike conversations. 

What would a Digital Human be? The idea that a human can be digitised and live within the confines of a computer based existence has been the subject of many debates. And although the evolution of humanity has been discussed for some time it’s only in recent years that something has been done. Much of this recent advancements are due in part to AI.

It’s been noted that within 5 years, AI will power up to 90% of all customer interactions. But equally interesting is nearly 82% of people say they prefer interaction with an “actual person”. So something more interactive than your standard “bot”. Healthcare is an area where the idea of digital humans is truly manifesting. Banking and Finance, Automotive, Energy and Education are also sectors where we can expect to see a further immersion of Digital Humans.

Digital Humans and Healthcare

Have you heard of Face Me? They are one of the leaders in creating Digital Humans as interaction platforms. They developed a Digital Human for the purpose of proving in-home care to heart patients. Southern Cross Health in NZ adopted the Face Me digital humans back in April 2019 to interact with patients in a way that was empathetic and personalised. The “humans” are built on machine learning meaning they are able to learn  from conversations over time to better understand a patient’s needs. The digital human is able to answer the Kiwis questions and able to offer ways to learn about health insurance. And I’m guessing the digital human would probably be a keen All-Blacks fan too 🙂 

Digital Humans and Banking

Customer service experiences with banking are often synonymous with automated voices which often prove to be rather frustrating for the consumer. The era of the chatbots were thought to have solved this problem. But this has been hampered by their inherent inability to process difficult customer enquiries and act emotionally. People seem to appreciate the more “humanised” aspect of the digital human. Research has shown that 64% want AI to be more human-like and 62% are comfortable with human-like voices and intellect. Both the Bank ABC and the Royal Bank of Scotland have launched customer service digital humans.  And truthfully in this day and age the likelihood of visiting a bricks and mortar banking branch has been significantly reduced. My parents might disagree with me slightly on this. 

Digital Humans and Education

In 2018 New Zealand (the Kiwis again) energy company, Vector teamed up with Soul Machines to create “Will”a digital human which teaches children to use energy sensibly. Will discussed solar and wind and is able to quiz the students on their renewable energy knowledge. Will utilised a Artificial Nervous system that is modelled on the way the human brain and nervous system works (Machine Learning at its finest). This enabled him to bring his digital human face and persona to life in a very personal way. In 2019 Will migrated across the Tasman to Australia to take up a role as “Kash” a virtual assistant for Collection House ( a debt collection agency based in Brisbane)

We can also look for Digital Human growth in these sectors: 

  • Automotive
  • Software and Technology
  • Energy

For the record the writers here at Digital Fixation are actual humans without any physical digital components but in the future who knows? Perhaps I’ll require a digital human to provide research for me one day so I can continue to write these entertaining articles? Until next time stay safe, happy and Digitally Fixated!