As if not enough people were already trying to become multi-platform stars, they will soon all have to compete with ANA – a hyper-realistic virtual human.
Programmed by Krafton, who also makes the popular PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds battle royale game, ANA was unveiled on Wednesday in a couple of photos. The still images show only her head – or really just her face – but depict a pink-haired and slightly playful person who looks like she is deeply interested in the next thing you have to say.
Eventually we will see more of ANA. Krafton promises that its virtual human will, as the head of the creative center Josh Seokjin Shin explained in a press release, “publish an original music track and expand its field of activity as an influencer to different areas across entertainment and e-sports.”
Based on the photos, ANA looks real. There are still problems around her teeth, for perfect skin and the plastic-like fingers that touch her face lightly. Nevertheless, the effect, thanks to the inclusion of imperfections such as weak pores, wrinkles and tiny hair on the skin, is quite striking.
Even without a full body image or movement video, there is reason to believe that ANA may end up as something special. When Krafton first unveiled its hyper-realistic technology in February, which uses face-rigging technology for subtle and vivid expressions, pupil movements and natural joint movement, it also released a PUBG film video (opens in new tab) demonstrates the current state of virtual human technology.
In the video, a group of PUBG competitors fight a masked enemy. Mixed with the eerie valley moments are a few scenes that come razer-close to real realism. One of the characters, a woman who is shot in the arm, looks like a clear ANA ancestor.
In addition to all the face, skin and body technology, Krafton says it uses deep learning to build an AI voice that will allow ANA to “act and sing just like a real human being.”
Why do we need this?
We live in a world of falsehood. Whether it’s actors carrying other people’s faces to recreate younger versions of the source actors (see Boba Fett and Luke Skywalker (opens in new tab)), Deep Fakers wearing faces of other actors (opens in new tab)or robots that think they are humans, it is difficult to trust anything you see, hear or read.
Artificial people, even artificial influencers, have been around for years. But few, for example, would confuse Miquela with a real human being. Based on what Krafton promises here, however, we will soon not know about TikTokeren who tells us about the perfect purge or YouTuber who sings an original song is flesh and blood or ones and zeros.
We would like to welcome ANA when she is ready to appear on the digital stage, but maybe she can stick to playing in PUBG and not try to eliminate one of the participants on The Voice.