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4 Types of Digital Humans

Like it or not, "digital employees" are entering the workforce, driven by the rapid advancements in technologies like AI and automation.

Compared to their human counterparts, digital employees offer businesses certain distinct advantages, including:

  • Ability to work 24/7; no need for lunch breaks and annual leaves

  • Gets work done (almostly) instantaneously, consistently and without errors

  • Does not come with the burden of people management

  • Can be easily scaled up and down (read: hire/retrench) based solely upon business needs

And according to Assistant Professor Lingyao (Ivy) Yuan, there are 4 types of digital humans, namely:

  1. Virtual agents: Designed for specific, one-time tasks, these agents have a human-like appearance.

  2. Virtual assistants: Also help people with specific tasks, but unlike virtual agents, the relationship with the user is ongoing.

  3. Virtual influencers: Similar to human influencers on social media.

  4. Virtual companions: Provide emotional support and form personal relationships with the user.

An interesting finding by Assistant Professor Yuan is that the fundamental key to treating AI as a human equivalent is to evoke the process of anthropomorphism. For example, realistic human faces can be a strong stimulus for people to treat digital humans as if they were real.

What's your opinion about digital humans entering the workforce? Please share them in the comments below!


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