Early Tuesday morning at CES 2020, Samsung’s STAR Labs research lab introduced Neon, a new “artificial human.”
Neon isn’t a robot or a voice assistant in the same way that Siri or Alexa are. Instead, it’s an animated chatbot that displays on a screen and learns about individuals. The Neons, according to Samsung, will be able to respond to questions in milliseconds.
The avatars would “help boost interactions individuals have with particular vocations, such as polite customer service; a worker who will be able to remember your name if you do yoga a certain amount of times during the week,” according to a spokesman for STAR (Samsung Technology & Advanced Research) Labs.
Neons will be able to have a variety of faces and attitudes, as shown in the photographs.
“Neons will work as TV anchors, spokespeople, or movie performers over time; or they can simply be companions and buddies,” according to the corporation.
Neons will be accessible as a service for organizations and individuals to license or subscribe to, although Star Labs has stated that it is not attempting to replace humans, despite appearances to the contrary. “We are not seeking to replace human jobs,” a spokeswoman told CNBC. “Rather, we want to improve customer service relationships and make clients feel like they have a friend with Neons.”
The Neons’ marketing hyperbole from STAR is quite aggressive. The Neons, according to the business, have their own emotions and memories, which would be a remarkable and unique achievement of computer science. More than likely, the inventors will just program them to simulate feelings and store data.
Without having seen one, it’s impossible to say how “clever” Neons are, or how effectively they can understand or empathize with a distressed person. Apple’s Siri, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant are all capable of learning and responding to a human’s unique voice, but they frequently make mistakes.
Similar attempts have been made by other corporations to replace or supplement human labour. Pepper, a smart robot developed by SoftBank Robotics, was released in 2015. It could be purchased at home as well as in banks, healthcare facilities, and restaurants, and it could act as a receptionist.
In a FAQ document, the company stated, “We want to make Neon available to corporate partners as well as consumers all across the world.” “We can’t comment on the business model or pricing for Neon yet,” says the company, “but we hope to beta launch Neon in the real world with a small group of partners later this year.”
Without more information, it’s easy to dismiss this as a publicity ploy that will never be released outside of CES. We’ll have to wait and see if Samsung proves us incorrect and delivers the device later this year.