Nvidia-sponsored Synthesia reveals AI-generated “expressive avatars”

Synthesia has revealed a new range of artificial intelligence (AI) generated digital avatars which can portray human emotion based on text instruction. 

The London-based company has presented its “Expressive Avatars” to synergize real emotion in the virtual world with users able to create professional quality videos without cameras and microphones.

Nvidia-sponsored Synthesia is said to have half of the Fortune 100 companies on its client list with its services utilized by more than 55,000 businesses, overall. The firm specializes in creating digital avatars for corporate presentations and training purposes.

Actors read scripts before a green screen to train the AI system with one demonstration showing basic information being fed into the program.

The three lines of text were, “I am happy. I am sad. I am frustrated.” The AI-generated persona in the video then responded by reading the relevant text with the matching tone and emotion.

Since its formation in 2017, Synthesia has prospered to the extent it reached a valuation of around $1 billion last year, after a $90 million funding round. The soaring success has put the company on a “unicorn” platform, amongst other UK entities such as Accel, FirstMark Capital, GV, Kleiner Perkins, and MMC.

The world’s first expressive AI avatars are (finally) here 💥

They frown, smile, furrow their eyebrows, and more — all automatically. And you can be the first to try them out. 🤖

Join us on April 25 to learn more about this groundbreaking technology and secure early access!… pic.twitter.com/MTZ9J184aV

— Synthesia 🎥 (@synthesiaIO) April 9, 2024

Synthesia enacts AI safety measures

Synthesia has moved to allay concerns over disinformation and ‘deepfakes’ by introducing a moderation system for all of the content it generates. Publishers must sign up as enterprise customers to be able to create synthetic avatars.

It has also taken action in the lead-up to crucial national elections this year with further measures to stave off the threat from bad actors seeking to interfere in the democratic process, including membership of the Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity.

The creator collective is an umbrella group of AI companies working in collaboration to include watermarks and agreed content details within AI-generated work to responsibly let viewers know what they are looking at is made by AI.

Image credit: Ideogram

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Graeme Hanna