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Do You Know About Digital Humans? – Free PDF Download


  • When one of China’s biggest celebrities, Simon Gong—also known as Gong Jun—released a new music video in June 2022, it quickly attracted 15 million views on the country’s Twitter-like microblogging site Weibo.
  • The singer in the video was not Gong himself, but a digital replica created by Baidu, a “digital human” powered by artificial intelligence (AI).
  • Likewise, the lyrics and melody were generated by AI, marking the recording as China’s first AI-generated content music video.
  • In recent years, businesses focused on providing round-the-clock services, as well as the media and entertainment industry, are increasingly adopting this nascent technology, aiming to capture a growing market.
  • And as digital humans increasingly populate other sectors like retail, health care, and finance, Emergen Research forecasts that the global market for digital humans will jump to about $530 billion in 2030, from $10 billion in 2020.

What are digital humans?

  • Digital humans are human-like virtual AI characters designed to be interacted with by people.
  • They are, for all intents and purposes, the chat bot’s successor: sharper, emotionally intelligent, and expressive AI entities embodied in human-like avatars, who, in their often striking resemblance to real people, both in behavior and appearance, give users a face, a personality — a person — to relate to.

A vast Market

  • According to a company that tracks business registrations, Qichacha, China now has more than 280,000 enterprises that engage in digital human-related activities.
  • In China alone, there are over 400 million ACGN (animation, comics, games, and novel) fans, and an enterprise market worth hundreds of billions of dollars centered on digital humans.”
  • US virtual influencer Lil Miquela has been appearing alongside real human celebrities in online advertisements and TV commercials since 2016, gaining over three million Instagram followers.

Related Achievements

  • Baidu AI Cloud first began developing a digital employee in 2019 in collaboration with Shanghai Pudong Development (SPD) Bank.
  • Subsequently, they focused their efforts on building a digital financial advisor to provide a service equivalent to that of a human bank representative when real-life employees were unavailable.
  • Today, SPD Bank says more than 460,000 customers rely on digital humans for banking services and portfolio management each month.
  • Access to digital humans outside of regular business hours allows SPD Bank to offer 24/7 customer service at low cost and high efficiency.
  • More recently, a Baidu-created virtual anchor provided live commentary in sign language at the 2022 Beijing Winter Games for hearing-impaired viewers.
  • In addition to looking like a real person, the avatar was empowered with speech recognition and sign-language interpretation abilities to ensure rapid and highly accurate input and output.

How it can help??

  • Over 5% of the world’s population – or 430 million people – require rehabilitation to address their ‘disabling’ hearing loss (432 million adults and 34 million children). It is estimated that by 2050 over 700 million people – or one in every ten people – will have disabling hearing loss.
  • There is strong potential for this technology to be used to increase their ability to access a wide range of content.

What do they do?

  • Digital humans can replicate the “whole range of human body language,” and provide users not only the information they’re after but “the appropriate non-verbal response as well.”
  • Digital humans are uniquely primed to read, listen and see between the lines, teasing out from the verbal chaff users’ needs, feelings and attitudes. Indeed, they establish “a human emotional connection.”

Spice up your virtual life in the metaverse

  • Digital humans and their virtual world do not merely represent reproductions of real humans and our physical world, but they could also create an entirely new medium of expression in next-generation social media worlds.
  • “Web3 and the metaverse have sparked a wave of speculations in the tech field today about what the future may bring.”

In what other ways do digital humans excel?

  • Digital humans can also address people’s hesitance to discuss sensitive or personal issues with other humans, or help bridge the gap when a human user simply doesn’t feel like talking to another person face-to-face.
  • Women might find it easier to approach a “female-presenting digital person about bra fittings or puberty problems,” for instance.
  • Digital humans afford users privacy and security without impinging on their freedom as content creators.
  • Some users might trust and confide in digital humans more readily than they would real people. For example, users might feel more at ease “talking to a digital person about their personal finances,”
  • Language is another barrier easily overcome by digital humans. Digital humans’ AI “DNA” enables them to learn quickly, too.
  • Digital humans also boast the advantages of easy integration and high performance on diverse systems, accessibility, and low cost.
  • Speedy response times are a hallmark of digital human tech. Samsung subsidiary STAR Labs reports that its NEON avatars can reply to users’ questions under “a few milliseconds.”

Future hold for digital human deployment

  • Many commentators predict digital humans will assume a growing role in our lives. David Lucatch, CEO, President, and Chair at Liquid Avatar Technologies, believes that people will design and “become” digital avatars of their own as digital personas for the metaverse.
  • Simon Yuen, director of graphics and AI at Nvidia, similarly writes that “everyone will one day have their one digital version of themselves, whether it’s an accurate or a stylized avatar.”
  • Digital humans are already demonstrating clear business value in numerous fields today. In the future, there will definitely be a large team of digital humans coexisting side-by-side with us in life and work.
  • As society transitions to a more digital world, digital humans are set to play a key role in accompanying us on this journey.

Associated Challenges

  • Critics of the technology have identified numerous problems and risks, including fraud, transparency, usability, ethics, and the consequences of prolonged, ubiquitous human-AI interaction; and have questioned the capacity of AI characters, however stunningly lifelike, to manifest inimitable human qualities.
  • Can complicate our social relationships
  • Transparency, ownership rights and interoperability could be sticking points.
  • Digital Humans are humanlike in their looks and the way they sound, but that in itself is not human… Being human is how you approach problems, and how you break them down.

Question: When someone programs a robot by moving it physically through the trajectory that they want it to follow is known as:

  1. robot vision control
  2. contact sensing control
  3. pick-and-place control
  4. continuous-path control




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