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WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF

Avatars will play an increasingly important role in the future – whether they’re being used to depict, or replace actors in movies, VR simulations or to compliment bots, Loom.ai’s new product makes the process of creating one simple.

 

We’re entering a new world of, among other things, artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR) where you’ll be able to become anyone you want, and inhabit and take part in brand new worlds where the only limit is your imagination. And in the new world personalisation will be king.

 

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How would you like to be the star in your own AI directed movie? Play the lead character in a VR game or, if you’re running a business, become the face of your own customer service bot? Personally I think the first two are way cooler but in each case you need to be able to transpose your own “image” – or avatar – into, or onto, the new world, and now, thanks to a startup called Loom.ai you can. And you can do it easily and for a fraction of the cost of what it would have cost you even at the start of this year. Say goodbye to hiring a team of professional designers and spending weeks twiddling your thumbs – now it’s as easy as uploading a photo and voila, you’re done.

If you visit their website you can upload an image, either of themselves or someone else, and Loom.ai’s software will generate a 3D personalised avatar that resembles the image. The technology is based on a combination of artificial intelligence, machine learning, machine vision and a collection of new rendering techniques and while the result isn’t yet photorealistic, and the product has a problem with hair and only offers a narrow range of facial expressions, all of those developments will inevitably come in time – and as and when, and if, they get more funding.

 

 

As you can see from the above animation the company has already released a few example avatars based on celebrities like Angelina Jolie, Kanye West, and Elon Musk and the result’s not bad.

About author

Matthew Griffin

Matthew Griffin, award winning Futurist and Founder of the 311 Institute, a global futures think tank working between the dates of 2020 and 2070, is described as "The Adviser behind the Advisers." Regularly featured on AP, CNBC, Discovery and RT, his ability to identify, track, and explain the impacts of hundreds of revolutionary emerging technologies on global culture, industry and society, is unparalleled. Recognised for the past five years as one of the world's foremost futurists, innovation and strategy experts Matthew is an international speaker who helps governments, investors, multi-nationals and regulators around the world envision, build and lead an inclusive future. A rare talent Matthew sits on the Technology and Innovation Committee (TIAC) for Centrica, Europe’s largest utility company, and his recent work includes mentoring XPrize teams, building the first generation of biocomputers and re-inventing global education, and helping the world’s largest manufacturers envision, design and build the next 20 years of devices, smartphones and intelligent machines. Matthew's clients are the who’s who of industry and include Accenture, Bain & Co, BCG, BOA, Blackrock, Bentley, Credit Suisse, Dell EMC, Dentons, Deloitte, Du Pont, E&Y, HPE, Huawei, JPMorgan Chase, KPMG, McKinsey, PWC, Qualcomm, SAP, Samsung, Sopra Steria, UBS, the USAF and many others.

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