60 years ago? Virtual Idol Chronicle

Coincidentally, virtual idols can be seen in many Beijing Winter Olympics reporting programs: AI sign language anchors jointly created by CCTV News and Baidu Smart Cloud; iFLYTEK uses CCTV anchor Wang Bingbing as a prototype to produce virtual idols to host “Bingbing Belt”. You talk about the Olympics”; CCTV’s “Listening” sign language interpreter; CCTV Sports Channel’s virtual anchor “Tiantian” interacting with the Chinese Winter Olympic champion; and China Mobile’s Migu Video also designed The first sports digital talent Meet GU show…

Virtual idols have been released one after another, not just for a trip to the Winter Olympics to join in the fun. More businessmen are interested in the related business opportunities hidden behind virtual idols: a virtual idol can connect the entire industry chain with new opportunities.

Then let’s review the chronicle of virtual idols.

Infancy stage: 1960s-1990s

The concept of virtual idol was first developed

The modeling technology is mainly hand-painted, and virtual characters begin to enter the real world, but the initial rendering effect is relatively rough.

As early as the 1950s, models and concepts similar to virtual idols were mentioned: in 1958, American animator Ross Bagdasarian produced a virtual band called “Alvin and the Chipmunks” (also translated as Rat Noble). The three mice band members in the film are called: Alvin, Simon, and Theodore, and the Mouse Noble Band has become one of the most successful children’s artists in history.

In 1961, three engineers from Bell Labs wrote code to make the mainframe computer IBM 7094 “sing” a “Daisy bell” song, which opened a technological window for the combination of computers and virtual characters.


Image source | Tencent News

In 1982, the world’s first virtual singer “Lin Mingmei” was born in Japan. Unlike other cartoon characters – TA debuted in reality and released an album. In 1984, the theatrical version of “Macross Ever Remember Love” was released, and the song of the same name sung by TA became a classic love song at that time.


Image source | Tencent News

In 1984, the world’s first virtual film actor “Max Headroom” was born. He participated in films and commercials and was created by British Georgia Stone.

Exploratory Phase: 2000-2015

The advantages of the film and television industry are highlighted

Modeling and driving technology innovation, but the cost is high, the development of CG and motion facial capture technology is becoming more and more mature, and computer technology is gradually replacing traditional hand-painting.

In 2001, CG+ motion capture technology creation: “Guru”; in the same year, China’s first virtual girl “Qing Na” was born.

In 2004, the four-in-one super-popular idol “E Xinxin” was born.

In 2007, the world’s first virtual idol “Hatsune Miku” was born. Using CG and motion capture technology. With the help of motion capture technology, TA can directly use human expressions and actions, and with the help of CG technology, it can “traceless” docking of the “character bones” generated by motion capture. Vocal is based on VOCALOID (Voice Synthesis Software for Electronic Music Production).


Image source | Tencent News

In 2012, China’s first virtual singer “Luo Tianyi” was born. It is Yamaha’s “the world’s first VOCALOID Chinese sound library and avatar” based on the VOCALOID3 speech synthesis engine.


Image source|Luo Tianyi public account

Early stage: 2016-2020

Entering high labor cost industries

AI technology has become an inseparable tool for the development of virtual humans, and breakthroughs in deep learning algorithms have provided virtual human speech expression, semantic understanding, and dialogue capabilities.

In 2016, the world’s first Youtube virtual anchor “Kan Ai” appeared. As the ancestor of virtual Yutuber, it has been active since November 2016. Kizuna, known as the four kings of virtual Youtuber, is also the first Youtube channel to exceed 1 million subscriptions as a virtual anchor. On December 7, 2021, the main channel AIChannel has exceeded 300W subscriptions on YouTube, and the total number of views exceeded 400 million. Another channel AIGames also has 152W subscriptions, 180 million views, and 62.5W Twitter followers.


Image source|Kan Ai official micro

In 2017, the virtual idol group “An Dou” debuted.

In 2017, China’s first virtual anchor “Xiao Xi” was born.

In 2018, Xinhua News Agency and Sogou jointly released the world’s first fully simulated intelligent AI host.

In 2019, Shanghai Pudong Development Bank and Baidu jointly released the first digital employee “Xiaopu” in the banking industry.

In 2020, STAR Labs will show its virtual digital human NEON, which was made by 15 engineers from TEXT Studios after three months of optimization and polishing of a large number of algorithms.

In December 2020, the Chinese virtual idol team A-Soul was formed.

Growth stage: 2021-2022

Scenario extension, industry applications blossom

The interactive performance is better, the diversified forms are displayed, and the technology improvement and breakthrough virtual human is booming in the downstream vertical application field.

In 2021, China’s first hyper-realistic digital person “AYAYI” will be unveiled. It attracted nearly 4W fans overnight, and the number of likes on the first post on its Xiaohongshu account exceeded 10W+. In September of the same year, “AYAYI” officially joined Ali and became the digital manager of Tmall Super Brand Day.

In 2021, Xiaobing will join hands with the Central Academy of Fine Arts to create artificial intelligence artist “Xia Yubing”, and the painting “Shanshui Spirit” co-created with his mentor Qiu Zhijie will be selected for the China Pavilion at the Dubai World Expo.

In 2022, the AI ​​referee and coaching system “Guanjun” created by Xiaoice will assist the national team of freestyle skiing aerial skills to achieve two golds and one silver at the Beijing Winter Olympics.

In February 2022, the first digital virtual idol “Xigaga” to achieve AIGC was born. TA can perform AI thinking creation, AI editing, AI painting and music composition. It has the ability to express language, facial expressions and body movements. It can talk and act like a human being. It can perform autonomous learning and iteration, and quickly “acquire” the skills of singing and dancing through AI.

On July 21, 2022, at the 2022 Baidu World Conference, “Xigaga” not only served as the host of the conference, but also exhibited painting skills on the spot, successfully completing the “post-modern colorful hazy” proposed by Sa Beining. “The Cat” exam questions, the style is psychedelic and fuzzy, and the colors are rich and detached, which makes people feel the power of AI.


Image source|Baidu

Maturity stage: the next ten years

Supernatural virtual human deeply integrates digital intelligence technology

In the future, with the development of intelligence, convenience, refinement and diversification, supernatural virtual human will become the mainstream trend, the acceptance of virtual human will be further improved, and its performance of human emotion perception and expression will be improved in the future.

Supernatural virtual humans will be a key part of embracing the digital economy.

In the next ten years, virtual humans will develop towards diversity and growth, and AI technology will continue to empower the virtual human industry.

Counting down, “virtual idols” have been with us for 40 years…

In the past 40 years, it is not only limited to its external design and positioning, but also a process of changing from 0 to 10 in the cognition and participation of “virtual idols”.

“Virtual idols” created with virtual digital human technology are gradually becoming one of the most popular categories in the trendy market.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/60-years-ago-virtual-idol-chronicle/
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