Developed by the Samsung-backed STAR Labs, Project NEON was just unveiled at the ongoing CES 2020. NEON is a digitally generated human that can act, speak and emote like human beings. According to Samsung, these artificial humans can be used at “a service representative, a financial advisor, 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”. As scary as it seems, this project gives us a glimpse into the future.
The NEONs are powered by the STAR Labs’ Core R3 platform i.e. based on the three Rs (Reality, Realtime, and Responsive). The intelligence, learning, memory, and emotions of these human-simulations, on the other hand, are powered by SPECTRA.
The Company showcased the project via a number of teasers and scenarios. However, it turns out that all the videos were done by human actors on camera and not by NEONs as the viewers were led to believe, which is a pretty weird move on Samsung’s part. Samsung said these simulations were “fictionalized and simulated for illustrative purposes only”. Thus, we still don’t know how a NEON will really look.
Star Labs claims that NEON is not an AI-assistant. People will be able to ask it for news, weather, or interface the internet. Hence, a NEONs conversation and interaction would be indistinguishable from basic human interaction. Moreover, Samsung said that a NEON is not an exact human replica, rather it is a unique and individual human.