In recent weeks, Samsung Technology & Advanced Research (STAR Labs), a subsidiary of Samsung, has been making random and somewhat vague information about a project called Neon, which is being cited as an “artificial human”.
There is very little information about Neon, as the publications are not in detail and so far have only given one certainty: that Neon has nothing to do with Bixby, Samsung’s voice assistant.
— NEON (@neondotlife) December 26, 2019
Artificial human …
At first, the little information presented – much of it unofficial – points to the launch of some kind of digital avatar technology, consisting of a CGI-based human figure with powerful artificial intelligence that could interact with users using a natural language.
Neon features profiles on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and publications focus on piquing the curiosity of followers, featuring images and gifs with futuristic animations and testimonials from people who supposedly have had a brief contact with technology. One even said that hardly anyone could distinguish Neon’s artificial intelligence from that of a real human being.
— Pranav Mistry (@pranavmistry) December 16, 2019
Pranav Mistry, a human-computer interaction researcher and former vice president of Samsung Electronics, is the current project leader, as well as CEO of STAR Labs and Neon. He has been using Twitter to fuel hype around technology.
The Let’s Go Digital had identified three brands registered by Samsung Research America, for “NEON Artificial Human”, “NEON Life” and “Core R3”. The project description revolves around something like “special effects production, including computer-generated modeling, imaging and graphics services for the production of movies, videos and movie trailers”, based on augmented reality and virtual reality, and which should be used for entertainment purposes.
In a recent interview, Mistry said Neon is a technology that is expected to become essential for humans in the 2020s.
The Neon project will be officially unveiled during CES 2020, which takes place in early January.