CES 2021

Samsung Neon wants fake humans everywhere, from your work to the bank

It turns out Samsung wasn’t messing around when it teased an artificial human.

Neon Frame demo of artificial human

After a steady stream of leaks and teasers that kicked its off in December 2019, Samsung Neon is finally here at virtual CES. We had some inklings that Samsung would put its artificial humans to work, but it’s hitting the ground running with the launch of Neon WorkForce and Neon Content Creation. These AI creations are ready to do anything from helping you at the bank to delivering the weather or maybe even selling you tummy teas. If that last thought doesn’t shake you to your core, there’s always the fact that these could decimate the customer service industry.

The AI agenda – Three main products fuel the WorkForce and Content Creation services: the Neon View, Frame, and Studio. The Neon View is primed for your smartphone and the most text-heavy option, but video chat is supported. Going beyond typical chatbots thanks to its Core R3 technology, the artificial human should be able to respond in a dynamic, intelligent way like China’s favorite AI girlfriend.

Neon View.Neon

The Neon Frame is meant for life-sized displays and seems primarily concerned with serving as an interactive information kiosk. These will likely show up in places like banks and airports, and South Korea’s Shinhan Bank has already agreed to implement the tech for contactless service.

With Neon Studio, an artificial human can spit out any script given to it with full expressions to go along with it. Neon’s partnership with CJ Group will allow the South Korean holding company to rollout “Artificial Human influencer media” at some point this year. CJ is known for consumer goods, mainly in the food realm, but it’s also a major player in the Kpop scene. With the success of Lil Miquela to look to, we could be looking at a new approach to Kpop artist creation.

Fake humans, real consequences — Devoid of context, the Neon project is walking the line between very cool and uncanny valley, but this tech will change the workforce as we know it. In South Korea, they’ve generally been crushing their coronavirus response, and life goes on close to normal. In America, however, tens of millions of people have already lost their jobs, and now, AI might be smart enough to take away an industry’s worth of positions.

It's not just customer service reps. Neon wants to be your yoga instructor and watch your kids.Neon

It’s clear that many companies love to cut costs when it comes to customer service, often at the expense of the representatives. Samsung is prepared to help them remove the human element entirely with Neon WorkForce. Media companies may not always want to deal with paying an actor and the additional costs of filming them, opting for an artificial human who can get it in one take. In the music industry, not having to deal with egos while also not splitting earnings with the artist — or even producers and session musicians — could be tempting.

Though we're all getting used to having quite a bit of personal space in the world, this contactless solution is ahead of the world it's launching into.