Over the past few months, the market has been returning to its initial state of the year, moving away from the excessive hype.
With the rise of large AI models, the virtual digital human sector is heating up, with virtual digital figures increasingly replacing real humans in roles such as brand ambassadors, hosts, customer service agents, and intelligent assistants across industries like tourism, e-commerce, and finance.
Market participants are visibly growing, with major internet companies, startups, traditional AI firms, and digital service providers that previously focused on intelligent customer service marketing all joining the race. According to IDC China Research Director Lu Yanxia, the surge in generative AI models is one reason for this. By 2026, the market size of AI digital humans in China is projected to reach 10.24 billion RMB.
However, challenges exist. The industry is still in the early stages of large-scale application of digital humans. Technical maturity, costs, and efficiency are ongoing concerns.
Notably, the recent update to GPT-4V, which showcases significant advances in Text To Speech (TTS) technology, has drawn industry attention. With improvements in speech naturalness, such as pauses, emphases, and interactions, AI-generated voices are increasingly resembling human speech.
In different scenarios, such as tourism, e-commerce, and banking, the commercial prospects of digital humans vary. For instance, in the tourism sector, many scenic spots and cultural institutions are employing digital humans as spokespersons or intelligent tour guides.
The financial sector is currently one of the more mature areas of digital human application. For instance, the PuFa Bank, in collaboration with Baidu Intelligent Cloud, developed a 3D digital human named “Xiao Pu”. She now works in over 20 roles, from wealth planners and document reviewers to lobby managers and telephone customer service agents.
The e-commerce live broadcasting scene has also seen a rise in digital human solutions. Some major brands are already experimenting with digital human live streaming solutions.
However, industry insiders caution about immature solutions that might turn potential clients away. The rapid pace of technological advancements is expected to address these issues in the coming years.
In summary, while the market has been abuzz with activity related to digital humans in recent months, there’s a growing sentiment among industry players that the market is returning to a more rational state. Those who focus on genuine technological advancements and practical applications are expected to thrive in the long run.