Samsung patents and showcases NEON, its 'artificial human' project

Artificial humans. (

After weeks of teases and leaks, Samsung has officially unveiled NEON, "a computationally created virtual being that looks and behaves like a real human."

NEON, which Samsung showed off at a booth at CES, looks like a large, realistic digital avatar. Though the demo was by some accounts underwhelming, the idea is that the artificial humans will eventually be able to react naturally and carry conversations, or even lead yoga classes.

Details are still scant. Good Content | Tech on YouTube found the real people behind some of the bots used in the showcase, suggesting that the demo avatars relied at least partly on video of real people.

On its website, NEON writes that it's "not an AI assistant. Not an interface to the Internet. Not a music player. Simply, a friend."

More details came from elsewhere. LetsGoDigital published patent documentation for Core R3, the technology underpinning NEON. In its description, Samsung describes NEON's potential uses in entertainment and film:

Downloadable and recorded software for creating, viewing, manipulating, editing, storing, publishing, and exporting virtual characters; downloadable and recorded software for developing virtual characters; downloadable and recorded software for computer generated characters for use in movies, television, internet and entertainment purposes; computer programs to create, deploy and distribute realistic looking virtual characters via an internet platform; design and development of computer-modeled versions of human beings using computer animation.

What that means is anyone's guess at this point.

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