ecently, the Chinese telecommunications company Huawei announced their latest hire to the world: Yunsheng. She’s not your average employee, though… Yunsheng is a virtual human who's mind is entirely powered by Artificial Intelligence.
On September 24, Huawei held their annual Connect Conference with the theme “Dive into Digital.” The CEO of Huawei Cloud, Zhang Pingan, opened his keynote address by introducing Yunsheng on stage beside him. While they haven't revealed her official job title yet, you can check out a translated voiceover clip below to see her debut (and watch her show off some dance moves as well.)
If you want to learn more about how virtual beings appear on stage alongside real humans, then be sure to check out our article about holograms.
What makes Yunsheng unique is that she is a virtual human created using Huawei’s proprietary digital content pipeline, which includes “AI automatic modeling, AI voice drive and AI rendering acceleration.” That qualifies Yunsheng as one of the most autonomous digital humans alive (if not totally autonomous).
It’s important to note that most virtual humans do not have AI capabilities such as these. While some virtuals, such as Miquela, claim to be AI robots, most of the time this claim is part of their fictional storyline and made solely to add plausibility to their existence. The reality is that AI actually powers very few virtual influencers, and human hands write their captions and craft their posts for them.
Most virtual influencers are a production, and Yunsheng is an exception.
She is a virtual human being who can think, speak and move in real-time onstage. Her extraordinary AI computing abilities, powered by Huawei’s proprietary software, allows her certain freedoms most of her virtual human counterparts don’t have.
Huawei gave Yunsheng a Weibo account, where she writes
“Hi everyone, I am Yunsheng. I have just joined Huawei. I am very honored to be on the same stage with the president today and realize my digital life dream in Huawei. Are you happy with my performance today?”
While Yunsheng may be their first virtual human employee, she is not the first virtual human created by Huawei. In June of this year, they unveiled virtual human LYSA. In her introduction video, LYSA states, “Hi everyone. I’m LYSA — it’s so nice to finally meet everyone. I’m Huawei’s first digital art persona, and I’ll make a great TV host!”
While she is more detailed than Yunsheng, LYSA is like most virtual influencers in that she lacks AI capabilities, which means a human needs to animate LYSA’s movements and record her voice manually.
Both LYSA and Yunsheng, however, have the capability to become a new breed of spokesperson. The primary advantage of choosing a virtual spokesperson over a human one is that a Yunsheng will never age out of her role or become entangled in scandals. Think of how the GEICO Gecko has been on TV for more than 20 years as an iconic brand representative. LYSA and Yunsheng could achieve a similar level of commercial success.
Lu de Magalu is Brazil’s most popular virtual influencer, with more than 5 million followers on Instagram alone. In 2009, she was created initially as a digital brand ambassador for the Brazilian retail store Luiza Magazine, performing tech product demonstrations and tutorials. Now Lu has become a bonafide virtual influencer who collaborates with major international brands like McDonald’s while also promoting Luiza’s products.
Yunsheng has a similar potential for Huawei to harness, especially since she is one of the first ever AI-powered virtual humans. She could become one of the few virtual influencers who actually writes her own social media captions, sparking a powerful yet authentic connection to her followers.
If your brand or company is ready to create its first virtual influencer spokesperson, contact us here.