Artificial intelligence (AI) company Soul Machines has signed a five-year agreement with Microsoft, establishing a partnership which will see the two companies collaborate on new AI products.
Digital twins of celebrities, accessible healthcare assistants and a virtual metaverse with interactive toys and book characters for children are among the possibilities being explored by the partners. Soul Machines will also migrate its applications to Microsoft Azure.
“Soul Machines has already established a reputation for its lifelike CGI characters and autonomous animation platform which uses AI and neuroscientific principles to reflect human behaviours and emotions in conversation with real people,” said Greg Cross, co-founder and chief business officer of Soul Machines. “In Microsoft, we saw an organisation who shared our principles with regards to responsible AI, a leader in cognitive services, machine learning, and in relationship building. This isn’t just an agreement to use Microsoft services – it will be a partnership in every sense of the word.”
Soul Machines has created CGI autonomously animated digital people such as Ruth, which provides interactive baking experiences to customers of Nestle’s baking brand Toll House, and Florence, which is used by the World Health Organization to give advice on Covid-19 and how to quit smoking.
“For us, this is about innovating with AI to support humanity,” said Ali Dalloul, global general manager of strategy and commercialisation for Azure and AI platform at Microsoft. “As the world increasingly uses digital technologies like AI to address major global challenges or provide better services and more equitable access, collaboration on what this future looks like is essential. Partnering with Soul Machines is a tremendously important opportunity to learn from each other and co-innovate new solutions that make life easier and better for people around the world, as we share a common vision."