Samsung Technology and Advanced Research aka STAR Labs are working on a project code-named Neon to create artificially intelligent humanoid chat-bots that can act as our friends.
According to Samsung, the chat-bots are not meant to replace the human race but to make the humans “more human.”
STAR Labs define Neon as “a computationally created virtual being that looks and behaves like a real human, with the ability to show emotions and intelligence.”
Pranav Mistry, the president and the CEO of STAR Labs, has been giving a lot of subtle hints to the Samsung fans trying to contemplate what Neon is about.
Less than a month ago, he tweeted: “NEON = ARTIFICIAL HUMAN.”
On a basic level, Neon creates virtual beings to whom you can talk or have a video chat and they mimic the actions of an actual human being.
These chat-bots are equipped with AI and have the ability to ‘simulate’ emotions.
Mistry demonstrated the working of Neon at the CES 2020 tech show that was held in Las Vegas. He said: “Neon is like a new kind of life.
“There are millions of species on our planet and we hope to add one more.
“In the near future, one will be able to license or subscribe to a Neon as a service representative, a financial adviser, a healthcare provider, or a concierge.
“Over time, Neons will work as TV anchors, spokespeople, or movie actors; or they can simply be companions and friends.”
Neon has made it clear that these chat-bots will be entirely different than the virtual assistants like Siri, Bixby and Google Assistant because they don’t know everything and learn how to respond to an action or stimulus by virtue of the artificial intelligence they are equipped with.
Mistry added: “Neons are more like us, an independent but virtual living being, who can show emotions and learn from experiences.
“Unlike AI assistants, Neons do not know it all, and they are not an interface to the internet to ask for weather updates or to play your favorite music.”
Samsung does own STAR Labs and is funding the development of Neon but Neon is not officially a product of the tech giant. It means that we won’t be seeing Neon replacing Bixby or being a part of the “Galaxy.”
STAR Labs is currently displaying the Neon technology at the CES but the technology won’t be made available or be released before an event known as Neonworld that will be held later in 2020.
So far, no details of when and where the event will commence are shared by STAR Labs or Neon.
The Neon tech is really a cool one but, unsurprisingly, it has raised a lot of concerns among certain groups. There is a potential to make deep fakes, videos of people doing or saying something that they didn’t do or say actually.
Some people are also raising concerns about the “uncanny valley” concept.
This concept is a relationship between the resemblance of an object to a human and the emotional response linked with it. This is the reason behind some people not liking humanoid robots and even the animated versions of humans.
Mistry concluded: “We have always dreamed of such virtual beings in science fictions and movies.
“Neons will integrate with our world and serve as new links to a better future, a world where ‘humans are humans’ and ‘machines are humane.”