Samsung’s recently unveiled Project Neon has nothing to do with its Bixby voice assistant, the company confirmed via a tweet. The company recently unveiled the project, with the question, “Have you met an artificial?" and the Internet quickly started guessing that it’s a new artificial intelligence (AI) project that would perhaps have something to do with Bixby.
However, it’s possible that the clue here is in “an artificial". If Samsung had to say it’s an AI assistant, it would perhaps have used different language, given how ubiquitous programs like Bixby have become. However, “an artificial" seems to suggest that the project will have something to do with a more advanced level of AI, perhaps artificial humans.
In fact, this photo above, tweeted by the Neon account, all but confirms this theory. The Hindi text on the photo asks, “Have you met those who are artificial?"
This is technology that uses AI to replicate human emotions, bodies and postures. A Japanese company called DataGrid has showcased such technology earlier. In fact, Swedish fashion brand, H&M, has used similar technology on its website before. The company, in 2011, used computers to create human bodies and stitched faces of real models on them.
"It's not a real body, it is completely virtual and made by the computer. We take pictures of the clothes on a doll that stands in the shop, and then create the human appearance with a program on a computer," the company said in a statement at the time.
Neon’s applications though should be far more advanced.
Artificial humans can be used for advertising and marketing campaigns and much more. What Samsung plans to use it for is yet to be seen though.
The project is run by the Samsung Technology and Advanced Research Lab (STAR Labs), which has developed some of the most cutting edge technologies coming from the South Korean company. In fact, Indian computer scientist, Pranav Mistry, is at the helm of STAR Labs as President and CEO of the independent unit of Samsung. Mistry took over the position in October this year.