Digital Humans: Why give AI a face?

Digital Humans: Why give AI a face?

Table of contents

What are Digital Humans?

Imagine a customer service agent who can answer your questions, understand your frustration, and even crack a smile to reassure you. That’s the world of digital humans – AI chatbots that shed their disembodied voices and take on a realistic human form. These aren’t just fancy avatars in a video game; digital humans are pushing the boundaries of technology to create interactive beings indistinguishable from real people.

But why give AI a face? While AI-powered chatbots have become commonplace, there’s something undeniably powerful about human connection. In this article we explore the reasons behind giving AI a face and examining the potential impact it will have on our interactions with technology in the future.

Just like with real people, a digital human’s facial expressions can create a sense of trust and understanding.  Imagine a digital therapist who can offer a reassuring smile or a concerned frown during a conversation. These subtle cues can make a big difference in how comfortable users feel opening up about sensitive issues. Studies, like the one with Ellie the digital soldier counsellor, have shown that people are more likely to disclose problems to a system with a face compared to a faceless one. This suggests that a digital human’s ability to express emotions can build a crucial sense of rapport, especially when dealing with sensitive topics.

A face adds a human touch to complex information. Digital humans can use visual cues and nonverbal communication alongside their voices to break down difficult concepts. Imagine a digital financial advisor who can not only explain investment options but also use charts and diagrams on screen while conveying confidence or caution through their facial expressions. This combination of visual and emotional engagement can make complex information easier to understand and navigate, improving the overall user experience.

People crave personal connections with brands.  Think about a time a helpful store clerk or quick customer service made a shopping experience stand out.  Even small gestures, like a barista remembering your order, can leave a lasting impression.  Studies show that customer experience is just as important as the product itself.

Let’s take e-commerce as an example. Online shopping often lacks this personal touch and therefore most online interactions are forgettable transactions.  Digital humans offer a solution.  They combine the convenience of online shopping with the helpfulness of a store employee and this creates a more memorable experience, even if it can’t replace the special connection you might have with a local coffee shop owner.  Digital humans can still bring a human touch to the online world.

A digital human can provide a safe space for users to ask questions and get support in areas they might feel uncomfortable with a human representative.  For example, someone struggling with financial literacy might hesitate to discuss debt with a bank employee. However, a digital financial advisor with a non-judgmental demeanor could create a space for open and honest conversation. This can be particularly valuable for sensitive topics like mental health or financial difficulties, where users may worry about judgment or stigma.

Digital humans with a voice interface can be a welcoming alternative for users with visual impairments.  Imagine a digital assistant who can not only answer questions but also navigate users through complex menus and forms using voice commands. Additionally, the ability to customize the appearance of a digital human can make AI interaction less intimidating and more approachable for a wider audience.  For example, users could choose a digital assistant that reflects their age, ethnicity, or even gender identity. This level of customization can foster a sense of connection and comfort for a more diverse range of users.

What can Digital Humans be used for?

Digital Humans can exist anywhere, from a company website to a physical store kiosk, and they come in a variety of roles, including digital bankers who offer financial advice, insurance advisors who help with claims, and even digital recruiters who streamline the hiring process. To learn more, check out our article on the top 5 use cases of Digital Humans.

The benefits of digital humans are vast. They can provide personalized recommendations and support, answer frequently asked questions, and efficiently handle tasks like scheduling appointments or generating reports. This not only frees up human employees for more complex work, but it also creates a 24/7 customer service experience that caters to individual needs. Data collected by digital humans further enhances their capabilities, allowing them to provide increasingly accurate and helpful interactions.

How to find out more about Digital Humans?

Curious to learn more? Whether you’re just starting your research or want to see real-world examples, we’ve got you covered.  Subscribe to our newsletter below to receive the Digital Humans e-book soon, or get in touch with our team of experts for a non-binding consultation.

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