The story of Soul Machines and their artificially intelligent ‘Digital People’

Soul Machines is a company based in New Zealand that creates artificially intellegent avatars. Read on to learn more about this innovative startup.

What are Soul Machines? 

Artificial Intelligence is arguably one of the most remarkable innovations made by human beings. With more advanced forms of this technology, scientists can even create human-like robots. They can think, talk and act as humans do, and we won’t even be able to tell the difference. Many companies are working on the production of such technically advanced robots. Soul Machines (1) is one such company based in Auckland, New Zealand that creates artificially intelligent digital people. Just like the name suggests, these are machines with souls. The company has made many avatars that emotionally react to users. 

The co-founder of Soul Machines, Mark Sagar, began chipping away at the neuroscience research behind this innovation in 2012. He had been working in an examination lab at the University of Auckland. Before the idea of Soul Machines, he had functioned as the Special Projects Supervisor at Weta Digital. Mark has also worked for Sony Pictures Imageworks and created innovation for the advanced characters in blockbusters, like Avatar, King Kong, and Spiderman 2. 

It was in 2016 that he launched Soul Machines along with Greg Cross, who is now the CBO of the company. They were also able to secure an initial series A funding of 7.5 million dollars which helped to propagate the business. Greg is liable for developing and building the business and sits on the Board of Directors at Soul Machines. In 2019, he was enlisted into the New Zealand Hi-Tech Hall of Fame. In the same year, the Royal Society chose Mark as a Fellow in acknowledgement of his revolutionary invention. As of now, Soul Machines is a pioneer in developing extraordinary AGI with a Human OS Platform. They provide a licensed Digital Brain to companies which makes it easier for their customer services. 


The founders of Soul Machines 

Soul Machines

The co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Soul Machines is Dr Mark Sagar. He is also the Director of the Laboratory for Animate Technologies at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute and the winner of two Academy Awards. Mark completed his PhD in Engineering from the University of Auckland. He has also done post-doctoral research at M.I.T. His spearheading work in artificially intelligent robots received wide recognition worldwide.

In the year 2016, he launched the company along with Greg Cross. Prior to collaborating with Dr Imprint Sagar to make Soul Machines, Greg was the co-founder of PowerbyProxi. Greg has gained experience in technology even in his early years by working with various companies. He has made his imprint as a business head by launching a startup named BellSouth NZ. Greg Cross was also the CEO of the Advantage Group before leaving for the USA. In the USA, he has worked as an Entrepreneur in Residence in Silicon Valley for a global VC firm. 

After he came back to New Zealand, Greg has taken on numerous Chair positions in prosperous firms. He has worked at Icehouse, NZ Trade, Enterprise’s Global Beachhead program, and SLI Systems. Greg also became the Sir John Logan Campbell Executive in Residence at the University of Auckland Business School. He presently lives in New Zealand, but his contributions have often been recognised on the worldwide stage. Greg Cross is one of the most brilliant tech scientists in the world today. He has dedicated his whole life exploring all possible innovation markets on the planet.


The success of Soul Machines

Over the years, the company has expanded its business to various parts of the world. As of now, they have offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City, London, Tokyo, Melbourne, in addition to Auckland. They have a highly skilled team that includes individuals from 17 nations. They all strive every day to improve the technologies behind Digital People and Autonomous Animation. Soul Machines has evolved into an international company with a permanent mark in the world of technology. 

They have constantly focused on giving rise to a world based on authenticity, variety and equality. They have won various patents AI technology, intelligent client interfaces, Autonomous Animation, super realistic computer visuals etc. Many leading trend-setters and brands are utilizing Soul Machines Human OS Platform to make astounding brand encounters. Soul Machines Digital People change brand understanding by making long-lasting and passionate associations with clients. It is very helpful for companies that need to use the association of human and machine coordinated effort in ground-breaking new ways. 

They provide computerised interfaces and applications that include administration, customer service, deals and sales. They were able to make the world’s most bewildering robotic avatars for these purposes. The Digital People technology makes it conceivable to accomplish zero-touch, and unmatched brand encounters from retail to medicinal services. The companies can make use of these machines to give a ground-breaking brand to purchaser experience. Soul Machines continuously works on developments that could make companies rethink client and brand understanding. 


Further down the road

Soul Machines introduced its first artificially intelligent avatar named Nadia in 2017. Nadia was able to talk, write and chat through the web. She was made to provide the people with a better availability to the organization’s administrations. This technology was made utilizing unimaginably definite physiological models. They made each bone structure and muscle move precisely as it would on a human. These digital people even have their own adaptation of a central nervous system. It mimics the abilities of the human cerebrum to make it more practical.

Currently, the team puts a majority of its efforts into making AI more human and simpler to communicate with. Therefore, it will be simpler for individuals to identify with and trust machines based on AI stages. Soul Machines research has been investigating how to make something called a digital brain. The innovation implies that CGI characters can be self-sufficiently stimulated just like people are. Everything could get a lot more interesting. Eventually, this also means that clients could have up close and personal cooperations with a brand. For huge organizations, that implies building more trust, conceivably with a large number of purchasers in a shorter time.

The founder of Soul Machines also hopes to expand their branches to Europe and Singapore by the year 2021. The company has recently raised 40 million US dollars In a Series B investment. This could help in their innovative work for artificially intelligent client assistance avatars with digital brains. This latest round was led by Singapore VC Temasek, and furthermore included European VC Lakestar and Salesforce Ventures. Existing investors Horizon Ventures and the University of Auckland Inventors Fund likewise participated in the round.

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Nidhia Sebastian is an English literature graduate who looks forward to a career that complements her passion. Her never-ending love for language has brought her to creative writing. Having an open heart to knowledge is what leaves her with a thirst to explore the world. She believes in living life to the fullest and hopes to convey the same enthusiasm through her words.

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Nidhia Sebastian
Nidhia Sebastian
Nidhia Sebastian is an English literature graduate who looks forward to a career that complements her passion. Her never-ending love for language has brought her to creative writing. Having an open heart to knowledge is what leaves her with a thirst to explore the world. She believes in living life to the fullest and hopes to convey the same enthusiasm through her words.

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