Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Friday, Jul 19, 2024

Hong Kong start-up Pantheon Lab is creating digital humans for companies

Hong Kong start-up Pantheon Lab is creating digital humans for companies

The start-up is working with, and looking to take on, more enterprise clients in Hong Kong including banks, restaurant chains and beauty products.

Pantheon Lab, a Hong Kong-based artificial intelligence (AI) start-up, is betting that AI-generated digital human avatars could prove useful in a range of traditional industries in the city and beyond, as public interest in advanced AI services such as ChatGPT continues to ramp up.

The company, founded in 2019, has been developing AI technologies that allow them to generate realistic digital human avatars, which it hopes will be used widely by businesses as virtual brand ambassadors or customer support assistants, among other things.

While AI-generated digital humans were still an unfamiliar idea to most people when they started the company in 2019, the pandemic encouraged many businesses to digitalise, and interest in the technology has picked up over the past year, according to co-founder and CEO Ivan Lau.

“Previously everyone thought AI is far away. Like there’s a lot of cool stuff, but it doesn’t affect me,” Lau said in an interview with the Post last week. “But this year it’s different.”

In 2022 Pantheon Lab created digital human ambassadors for Huawei Technologies Co for a Hong Kong marketing campaign to promote the tech giant’s laptops and smartphones. In late 2021, it produced a virtual ambassador for the Hong Kong-based meme-sharing website 9GAG.

The start-up is now working with, and looking to take on, more enterprise clients in Hong Kong including banks, restaurant chains and beauty products, Lau said, adding that they are not ready to disclose any company names yet.

Pantheon Lab co-founder and advisor Christina Tse (left), co-founder and CEO Ivan Lau (centre), and co-founder and advisor Mark Chan (right).

Property developers and shopping malls have also expressed interest in digital concierge solutions using virtual humans, who can interface with customers in a conversational way, he said.

Built upon the generative adversarial network, a machine learning framework for generating synthetic data, Pantheon Lab uses its own face shifting and lip syncing technology to make the digital human avatars look as realistic as possible, according to Lau.

Most enterprise clients prefer to have their own custom-built virtual ambassadors, and creating a brand new digital human can take from less than a month to up to three months to complete, depending on the size of the project, he said.

For its digital humans with chat functions, Pantheon Lab has also integrated GPT-3, a language understanding and generation model developed by US company Open AI that was the predecessor of ChatGPT, the chat bot that recently took the world by storm with its ability to generate human-like text responses. Pantheon Lab said it will continue to upgrade when they see fit.

Public enthusiasm for generative AI, or artificial intelligence that can create wholly original text and images, has ramped up recently as more products like ChatGPT became more accessible.

2022 was a record year for investment in generative AI start-ups, with equity funding surpassing US$2.6 billion across 110 deals, according to CB Insights.

In November last year, Pantheon Lab raised a seed funding round led by the Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund, without disclosing the size of the funding. The company is now in the process of raising several million US dollars in a new round of funding to be completed within this year, according to Lau.

Pantheon Lab, based in the Hong Kong government-backed incubator Hong Kong Science Park, is also building an AI-generated realistic virtual singer that could be launched by May this year, and is hoping to eventually launch a virtual companion, Lau said.

While the technology for virtual companions is in place, virtual companions can involve sensitive issues, Lau added, so the company is focused on serving corporate clients for the time being.


Related Articles

Hong Kong News
It's always the people with the dirty hands pointing their fingers
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Steve Jobs' Son Launches Venture Capital Firm With $200 Million For Cancer Treatments
Google reshuffles Assistant unit, lays off some staffers, to 'supercharge' products with A.I.
End of Viagra? FDA approved a gel against erectile dysfunction
UK sanctions Russians judges over dual British national Kara-Murza's trial
US restricts visa-free travel for Hungarian passport holders because of security concerns
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Political leader from South Africa, Julius Malema, led violent racist chants at a massive rally on Saturday
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
'I am not your servant': IndiGo crew member, passenger get into row over airline meal
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Spanish Citizenship Granted to Iranian chess player who removed hijab
US Senate Republican Mitch McConnell freezes up, leaves press conference
Speaker McCarthy says the United States House of Representatives is getting ready to impeach Joe Biden.
San Francisco car crash
This camera man is a genius
3D ad in front of Burj Khalifa
Next level gaming
BMW driver…
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.