As if there weren't enough people trying to become multi-platform stars, soon everyone will have to compete with ANA, a hyper-realistic virtual human from Krafton.
The company, which also produces the popular battle royale game PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds, unveiled (opens in a new tab) a couple of images of ANA on Wednesday. The pictures only show his head, or really just his face, but they show a somewhat playful pink-haired person who seems deeply interested in what you have to say next.
However, we will eventually see more ANA. Krafton promises that its Virtual Human Will, as explained by Josh Seokjin Shin, Director of the Krafton Creative Center, “will release an original music track and broaden its scope of activity as an influencer in various fields of entertainment and esports.
From the pictures, ANA looks realistic. There are still issues around her teeth, too-perfect skin, and plastic-looking fingers lightly touching her face. Still, the effect is, thanks to the inclusion of blemishes such as pale pores, wrinkles and small hairs on the skin, quite striking.
Even without a full body image or animated video, there's reason to believe that ANA could end up being something special. When Krafton initially unveiled its hyper-realistic technology in February, which uses facial manipulation technology for subtle and vivid expressions, pupil movements, and natural joint movements, it also released a PUBG cinematic video (opens in a new tab) demonstrating the current status of your virtual human technology.
In the video, a group of PUBG competitors fight against a masked enemy. Interspersed with the strange moments in the valley, some scenes approach true realism. One of the characters, a woman who is shot in the arm by her, clearly resembles an ancestor of ANA.
Along with all the face, skin and body technology, Krafton says he's using deep learning to create an AI voice that will allow ANA to "act and sing like a real human being."
Why do we need this?
We live in a fake world. From actors using other people's faces to recreate younger versions of the original actors (see Boba Fett and Luke Skywalker (Opens in a new tab)), to Deep Fakers using other people's faces (Opens in a new tab) or bots that think they're human, it's hard to trust everything you see, hear or read.
Artificial humans, even artificial influencers, have been around for years. But few would mistake Miquela, for example, for a real human. However, based on what Krafton promises here, we won't know anytime soon if the TikToker who tells us about the perfect cleanup or the YouTuber who sings an original song is flesh and blood or ones and zeros.
We'll welcome ANA when it's ready to emerge on the digital scene, but maybe it can still play within PUBG and not try to knock out any of the competitors on The Voice.