The Emperor May Be a Bot ... But He Still Has No Clothes
SAY IT LOUDLY AND OFTEN ENOUGH AND PEOPLE MAY BELIEVE YOU...
Autodesk, a long-standing developer of 2D and 3D drafting and design software, recently announced it plans to release a new version of its Autodesk Virtual Agent (AVA) avatar.
The company says that AVA’s CGI makeover will turn her into a hyper-detailed, 3D-rendered character – what Soul Machines calls a "digital human".
No doubt the Prophets (Profits?) of AI will herald AVA as a further step in the march to full-fledged Artificial Intelligence and the creation of robots (both physical and virtual) that display "human" characteristics.
Well, it's time to stop taking what they say at face value and instead look at what they're actually presenting as examples...
When you do that, you find that the reality rarely if ever lives up to the claims being made. When it comes, for example, to AVA, my reaction is, "Is that the best you can do?"
Admittedly, AVA is better than an animated cartoon character. But it (not she) is still light years away from even approaching the nuanced play of human facial expressions.
Sure, a real, live AVA would be a sultry beauty. But as it (not she) stands, it's a face only her design engineers could love.
Take a look for yourself and let me know what you think. ― Phil Friedman
Information and video credit: FastCompany.net
Author's Notes: This piece is the second in a series on Artificial Intelligence that I am writing from a layman's point of view, one that is not filtered through the eyes and judgment of someone with a vested interest in the hyping of AI. If you'd care to read the other articles in the series, they are:
2) "The Emperor May Be a Bot... But He Still Has No Clothes"3) "The Robots Are Coming, the Robots Are Coming..."
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About me, Phil Friedman: With some 30 years background in the marine industry, I've worn different hats — as a yacht designer, boat builder, marine operations and business manager, marine industry consultant, marine marketing and communications specialist, yachting magazine writer and editor, yacht surveyor, and marine industry educator. I'm also trained and experienced in interest-based negotiation and mediation. In a previous life, I was formally trained as an academic philosopher and taught logic and philosophy at university.
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As a professional writer, editor, university educator, and speaker, with more than 1,000 print and digital publications, I've recently launched an online program for enhancing your expository writing: learn2engage — With Confidence. My mission is to help writers, would-be writers, and business people who need to improve their thought and writing, master the logic of discussion, and strengthen their ability to deal with disagreement.
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