NVIDIA is no stranger to making realistic AI avatars, but now it's making them more practical. The GPU maker has introduced a toolkit, the Omniverse Avatar Cloud Engine (ACE), that makes it easier for companies to put digital humans into chatbots, games and other apps. The combination of AI models and services helps developers quickly create virtual people that don't depend on a massive amount of in-house computing power — a startup can produce an avatar as convincing as one from a giant corporation.
ACE revolves around several existing software kits and frameworks. Its namesake Omniverse is used for AI-driven animation. Metropolis handles computer vision tasks (such as object recognition). Merlin helps with recommenders, while NeMo Megatron and Riva respectively help with natural language models and AI speech.
It will take time before you're speaking to an ACE-based avatar in a role-playing game or at your next hotel stay. And while NVIDIA claims its AI is "on a path" to pass the Turing test, it's clearly short of that goal at the moment. It's still obvious that you're talking to a computer, as you can see in the demo video. With that said, this could still be a welcome upgrade from the cruder avatars and basic text bots you typically deal with today.