Born in February as a roughly sketched avatar on a chat interface, AVA’s CGI makeover will turn her into a hyper-detailed, 3D-rendered character–what Soul Machines calls a digital human.
They are built to be bottomless wells of empathy, no matter how nasty a customer gets.
All that digital artistry may seem like overkill for the system that tells people where to find their software downloads.
However, all the subtleties of the behavior come from the Baby X model,” says Sagar.
“If it were an actor, Baby X is just improvising, whereas [a digital human] is being told: I want you to walk here, I want you to say this, and I want you to deliver it with this tone.” Crucially, AVA and other digital humans are incapable of feeling anger.
And responding to that.”With her new face and brain, AVA’s getting a promotion from call center staffer to brand ambassador.
“We really strongly feel that if AVA is to be the front door into Autodesk, people need to feel like AVA is a great first solution and not yet another deflection mechanism,” says Spratto.Greg Cross, Soul Machines’ chief business officer, says the company is working on eight other projects with “major brand names” but declined to name them.In demonstration videos, the new AVA’s face reacts with all the physiological subtlety of the best Hollywood CGI characters.But a bot with a winning personality is all that saves Autodesk from a customer service apocalypse.“We’ve reached a capacity constraint where, the number of calls coming in–we just don’t have enough people,” says Gregg Spratto, Autodesk’s VP of operations. So we get a fair amount of questions that are just about how to get up and running or which product to choose,” he says.“Our products are not the easiest ones in the world . That’s all gotten worse as Autodesk shifted from selling software that runs forever to selling a subscription service to its customers.Analyzing facial expressions to discern a smile, even a subtle one, and analyzing voice to pick up a pleasant tone, Soul Machines’ software provides a hit of virtual dopamine to AVA’s nervous system.