Under the tuyere of the Metaverse: the value and worry behind the crazy “man-making” of enterprises

Real outlet or fake concept?

Text / Zhang Congxiang

Editor / Wang Xiaokun

Following the collapse of the word of mouth of some traffic stars, virtual digital people seem to be the best choice for business owners to speak out.

What is a virtual digital human? The “2020 White Paper on the Development of Virtual Digital Humans” issued by the China Artificial Intelligence Industry Development Alliance and the Zhongguancun Digital Intelligence Artificial Intelligence Industry Alliance defines this “species”:

A virtual digital person refers to a virtual person with a digital appearance, which should have human appearance (appearance, gender, personality and other character characteristics), human behavior (expression ability of language, facial expressions and body movements), and human thought (identification of the outside world). environment and can interact with people) these three characteristics.

Under the tuyere of the Metaverse: the value and worry behind the crazy "man-making" of enterprises

Image source: IC photo

Whether it is AYAYI, the digital manager of Tmall Super Brand Day, Cui Xiaopan, a virtual digital employee who won the Best Newcomer Award at Vanke Headquarters, the virtual Teresa Teng who shines in Jiangsu Satellite TV’s 2022 New Year’s Eve concert, Hunan Satellite TV’s new variety show “You” Well, Xiao Yang, the digital host of “Saturday”, is also a digital IP created by technology companies such as Jiyuanmei, Liu Yexi, Ling_Ling, A-Soul, and even Hua Zhibing, a virtual college student of Tsinghua University, and the first virtual number of Baixin Bank. Employees such as AIYA Aiya, etc., for a while, companies have chosen to “create people”, and the virtual digital human market is also showing a trend of heating up.According to incomplete statistics, there will be at least 19 financings in the domestic virtual idol/digital human field in 2021.

Based on the application scenarios of virtual digital human, it can be divided into: service-based virtual digital human (PGC + functional type), virtual idol (PGC + IP value), digital avatar (UGC + functional type), creative carrier (UGC + IP value) Four categories.

Industry insiders said: Service-type virtual people provide services in specific scenarios, which can replace social roles in many service industries, such as corporate employees, hosts, medical consultants, housekeepers, etc.; identity-type virtual people are more inclined to re-establish a new kind of social role. Virtual image, and landed in the field of entertainment games, such as idol-type virtual people, live-streaming virtual people, etc. Relevant reports show that there are about 175 billion identity-based virtual digital people, and the total scale of service-based virtual digital people exceeds 95 billion. At present, the market is in the early stage of development and cultivation.

A thriving virtual digital human industry

The virtual digital human is considered to be an important medium for linking the Metaverse. Under the tuyere of the Metaverse, due to its pinchable face, customization and other reasons, for a long time, the virtual digital human has been favored by young people, especially the Metaverse. Space lovers welcome. In other words, the current market has been trained, and young people are more accepting of virtual digital people.

According to the “2021 “Gen Z” Entertainment Content Consumption Research released by Yien Data, the phenomenon of content consumption in the Gen Z circle has gradually become prominent, becoming an important consumer group for virtual idols.

At the same time, young people have a strong willingness to pay for virtual idols, and the abundance of peripheral products drives their ability to monetize. Brands are also taking a fancy to this trend, and have also launched their own virtual idol industries.

This is because, compared with traffic stars, virtual idols will no longer have a “collapsed house” after the creation of their appearance and personality, which will damage their brand image. In addition, virtual idols are generally closer to the idol shape in the minds of fans, and the customization of virtual idols will also meet the needs of fans.

With the continuous development of the virtual idol industry ecology, peripheral products such as figures and records have become the best channels for virtual idols to monetize their traffic, and fans are also willing to spend more money and energy to support virtual idols. According to iiMedia Research, 80% of netizens spend less than 1,000 yuan per month for virtual idols, and 37.6% of netizens expressed their willingness to spend more money to support virtual idols.

The “2021 Virtual Digital Human Industry Depth Report” shows that in 2030, the overall market size of my country’s virtual digital human will reach 270 billion. The expansion of the market scale is inseparable from the support of policies. Since the epidemic, policies on 5G, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and augmented reality have been introduced and implemented, encouraging the construction of a number of software and hardware facilities related to digital humans.

 At the same time, it is mentioned in the “14th Five-Year Plan for Scientific and Technological Development of Radio, Television and Online Audio-visualization” published on the website of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, that artificial intelligence, big data, and blockchain should be strengthened in content topic selection, material integration, editing and production. , content review, media asset management, subtitle production and other links to promote the intelligent production and broadcasting process. Promote the widespread use of virtual anchors and animated sign language in the production of news broadcasts, weather forecasts, variety shows, science and education, etc., innovate the form of programs, and improve the efficiency and intelligence of production and broadcasting.

Therefore, in addition to the virtual IP created by the brand owner, the virtual digital person also appeared in the live broadcast room of Central Media as the anchor. On December 16, 2021, Xinhua News Agency’s AI synthetic anchors “Xin Xiaohao” and “Xin Xiaomeng” had an unprecedented news connection with the virtual animation characters “TV Chicken” and “Infinite Girl”, and rushed to the hot search on Weibo. .

All of the above are the best practices for virtual digital humans. So, what technologies are behind the booming virtual digital human industry?

Participating upstream and downstream players

The existence of virtual digital people is inseparable from technical support, and now major manufacturers are involved, such as iFLYTEK, Baidu, Microsoft, Douyin Liu Yexi, Lanbiao Su Xiaomei, etc. Even now the banking industry has begun to “create people”. for its own digital transformation. However, the starting point of each virtual digital human is different, and the roles it plays are also different.

For example, Liu Yexi, who has attracted 4.28 million fans in a week, Chuangyi Technology, the company behind the technology, wants to “build Disney in the Metaverse” through virtual digital people. Liang Zikang, CEO of Chuangyi Technology, said that Chuangyi Technology will “build an interactive Metaverse view across media by taking interactive videos, short dramas, movies and other media content as a starting point, interacting with dynamic IP in real time and space, and using short videos to flexibly platform to build a Chinese-style Marvel Metaverse that is closer to the audience.”

Cui Xiaopan, the winner of the Vanke Headquarters Outstanding Newcomer Award, aims to “write off the prepaid/overdue documents that have been expedited.” With the blessing of deep neural network technology rendering, Cui Xiaopan has played a great role in various receivable/overdue reminders and abnormal work detection with an efficiency much higher than that of human beings. The rate reached 91.44%.

In fact, the virtual digital human industry seems to be popular, but the industrial chain behind it is mainly composed of two aspects: technical solutions (basic layer, platform layer) and content application (application layer, operation layer).

From the perspective of upstream and downstream links, the upstream of virtual digital human is mainly a service provider that provides basic software and hardware facilities for virtual human production. For example, manufacturers that can provide related technologies such as modeling, motion capture and rendering, Nvidia, etc. The midstream is a manufacturer that provides software and hardware systems, production technology service platforms and AI capability platforms for virtual digital humans, such as iFLYTEK and Baidu. Downstream are manufacturers that operate and monetize virtual digital people, such as NetEase and Tencent.

Taking Baidu as an example, Baidu recently released the digital human generation platform Baidu Smart Yunxiling. This is a platform-level product that integrates digital human production, content creation, and business configuration services. It provides one-stop virtual hosts, virtual employees, and virtual idols for broadcasting, interactive entertainment, finance, government affairs, operators, retail and other industries. , Brand spokesperson creation and operation services.

At present, based on the digital star operation platform, Baidu Smart Yunxiling has built CCTV news AI sign language anchor, space agency Mars rover digital man, CCTV network virtual host Xiao C, Baidu Group digital man Xijiajia, and mobile phone Baidu spokesperson Gong Jun, etc. Series of digital people.

A little worry behind the madness

After the emergence of virtual digital humans, some voices said that the work of virtual digital humans has already encroached from the simple and repetitive mechanical labor in the past to emotional highlands such as idols. After being endowed with emotions, can the next step of virtual digital humans really replace human beings? ?

The American science fiction drama “Westworld” may have given us some warnings. In a paradise made of high technology, when these high-tech manufacturers awakened, they began to rebel and enslave human beings.

Due to the lack of relevant industry standards and legal policies, the development of virtual digital human technology will also cause some legal issues and ethical risks. Industry insiders believe that because the virtual digital human is “injected” with emotional elements, users are easily immersed in the virtual world, unable to distinguish which is the real world and which is the virtual world, and even easily lead to some ethical issues.

Under the tuyere of the Metaverse: the value and worry behind the crazy "man-making" of enterprises

Image source: IC photo

Therefore, at the level of virtual digital human industry system standards and safety ethics, not only is there a lack of unified technical standards and requirements in the industry, but the quality of products is also uneven, and relevant laws, regulations and ethical norms have yet to be improved, and there are certain potential risks.

The imperfect talent supply system is also the main bottleneck restricting the development of virtual digital humans. At present, the industry urgently needs a complete talent supply system, especially a cross-border talent system, in order to ensure the healthy operation of the industry.

But it should be clear that virtual digital human technology is a further empowerment and exploration of real life, but virtual reality technology is still in the early stage of development and lacks overall industry standards. highway.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/under-the-tuyere-of-the-metaverse-the-value-and-worry-behind-the-crazy-man-making-of-enterprises/
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