There are plenty of reasons why someone might lose their job. But a new Samsung technology might soon be added to the list.
On Tuesday at CES 2020 in Las Vegas, Samsung will unveil a new "artificial human" through its upcoming Neon company. And although the current Neon site says little to nothing about the project, some recent leaks suggest that these computer-generated humans could eventually perform tasks and job functions that humans currently do.
The latest leak was discovered over the weekend by Reddit users, who found videos of the Neon artificial humans in action. The videos, which Samsung has since removed from its site but are still on YouTube, show what look to be real people talking and communicating. It's unclear at this point what's real and not in the video, but it's believed by at least some people on Reddit and elsewhere that what we're seeing in the clips are humans who had their faces and bodies scanned and have been digitized, saying things completely created by a computer.
The video leak came alongside a tweet from Pranav Mistry, who is working on the Neon technology. That tweet shared an image of a person surrounded by code. It's likely (though uncertain) that the person is one of the "artificial humans" Samsung's Neon is working on.
"Flying to CES tomorrow, and the code is finally working :) Ready to demo CORE R3," Mistry tweeted, referring to the name of the technology that powers the artificial human technology. "It can now autonomously create new expressions, new movements, new dialog (even in Hindi), completely different from the original captured data."
In other words, Core R3, which is powering the artificial human technology, is now able to work on its own and can communicate without any human interaction.
But Mistry's comments on the technology have gone far beyond a discussion on movements and expressions. In an interview last month with LiveMint, Mistry said that future artificial humans could take on roles in the enterprise.
"'Virtual humans' or 'digital humans' will be reality," Mistry said. "A digital human could extend its role to become a part of our everyday lives: a virtual news anchor, virtual receptionist, or even an A.I.-generated film star."
Yes, you read that correctly. If Samsung has its way, your future office receptionist could be a virtual human. And when you go to the movies, there's a chance that you'll be watching an artificial human on the big screen instead of a real-life one.
This could represent a major shift in thinking and experience for business owners. But it could also be a cheaper option. After all, the artificial human envisioned by Samsung doesn't need health care, its "salary" would be paid to Samsung at a rate likely cheaper than what humans would require, and turnover wouldn't be a problem.
That might ultimately be Samsung's vision for Neon. While the company is using CES to discuss the artificial human technology, it's in the corporate world where it might provide the biggest strategic benefit.
The problem, of course, is we don't know how well it'll work. And as great as artificial intelligence might be, there's no guarantee that it'll work as well as a human being.
But, alas, Samsung is moving toward the concept. And soon enough, we might be seeing "artificial humans" transform the office.