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Interview: D-ID’s Matthew Kershaw talks strategy for the future of human-machine interfaces

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In an enlightening episode of “Intelligent Video Today,” host Steve Vonder Haar welcomed Matthew Kershaw, VP of Commercial Strategy at D-ID, to share insights into the evolving landscape of digital human avatars and their transformative impact on businesses and everyday life.

The Essence of Digital Human Avatars

Kershaw began by demystifying digital human avatars, describing them as photorealistic representations of humans, complete with natural-sounding voices and the intelligence of large language models. These AI Video avatars are designed to converse naturally and respond with low latency, fostering a seamless flow of interaction. Kershaw emphasized D-ID’s commitment to overcoming the ‘uncanny valley’ – the discomfort experienced when an avatar is almost, but not quite, lifelike. Achieving this level of realism has been a focus for D-ID, requiring intricate blending of various technologies to create avatars that are not just visually convincing but also emotionally responsive.

Applications in the Enterprise

Kershaw highlighted the versatile applications of digital human avatars in enterprise settings. He envisioned a future where complex documents like HR handbooks become interactive, allowing employees to engage in natural conversations for information. Similarly, he proposed a revolutionary shift in PowerPoint presentations, where digital avatars could not only present but also interact with the audience afterwards, answering queries and enhancing the learning experience.

Integration with AI and the Natural User Interface

A significant part of the discussion revolved around integrating AI into digital human avatars. Kershaw described this integration as a natural progression, with D-ID acting as the human interface to the textual output of large language models. This synergy promises to make interactions more intuitive and engaging, particularly in customer service and team collaboration.

Kershaw introduced the concept of the Natural User Interface (NUI), a paradigm shift from traditional text and graphic interfaces. NUI, as envisioned by D-ID, is about conversing with machines in our natural language, making technology like spreadsheets, slides, and websites more accessible and user-friendly. This approach marks a significant leap towards a future where technology adapts to human communication styles, rather than the other way around.

Real-World Impact and Future Directions

Discussing the real-world impact of digital human avatars, Kershaw underscored their potential to enhance satisfaction throughout the customer journey, improve conversion rates, and open new business avenues. He also touched upon their role as advisors and helpers, not just in customer-facing roles but across various sectors like insurance, legal, healthcare, and telecom.

Looking ahead, Kershaw shared D-ID’s aspirations beyond developing standalone applications. He emphasized the company’s role as a platform provider, with a robust API at its core, enabling other businesses to leverage D-ID’s technology. Partnerships, according to Kershaw, are crucial for D-ID in 2024, as the company aims to build an ecosystem that integrates various players in the market, including other LLMs and big tech companies.

Matthew Kershaw’s insights paint a vivid picture of a future where digital human avatars are an integral part of our digital interactions. His vision, rooted in D-ID’s innovative approach, suggests a world where technology becomes more human-centric, breaking down barriers and enhancing our ability to communicate and interact.

Watch the full interview below:

Evolve to NUI

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