In the keynote of their developer conference L.E.A.P., which took place Wednesday, Magic Leap showed a demo of their new human-like AI. Dubbed, Mica, she can communicate with a viewer through the company’s augmented reality glasses, the Magic Leap One Creator Edition.
Basically, Mica is a short-haired woman who can express facial expressions closely resembling a normal human. She does not speak but can still communicate in warm ways with the viewer.
The project was presented at the Magic Leap L.E.A.P. event by Andrew Rabinovich, head of AI at Magic Leap, and John Monos, head of human-centered AI. According to the keynote, Mica is their prototype for developing systems to create digital human representations. The first prototype came up with a realistic eye gaze and eye movement. Artificial Intelligence components were then added to track users and look them in the eye. Additional AI elements were then added for body language and posture. According to Nick Whiting from Epic Games, Mica is powered by Unreal Engine 4.
Magic Leap focused on creating natural facial expressions that can emote in believable ways. Their main goal was to create facial elements that connect users to her. Mica came out as an ideal interface to human-centered AI that evokes natural reactions from the users. Mica gets the interactions and intelligence to how people expect. User focus becomes the temperament for Mica, her personality traits, and mannerism are aligned to how the users are with her.
VentureBeat’s correspondent was invited for a demo of Mica. Per his experience, “ I walked into a physical room and sat in a chair. Mica was sitting at the table in the same room. She smiled at me and look at me. I was struck that she wasn’t just looking at me. She was looking in my eyes. She tilted her head from side to side.
When I noticed how attentive she was, I moved my head forward and looked in her eyes. She did the same and looked at me. I moved my head back and she moved her head back too. She was mimicking some of the movements that she saw me make. She didn’t talk, but that is coming in the future.”
Magic Leap’s Mica is a clear indication of what the virtual assistant future will look like for most people in the very near future. Read more about Magic Leap’s L.E.A.P conference to know what else was announced. You may also watch the keynote.