8 things you (probably) didn't know a digital human could do in 2024

We bet you don't know all eight of these modern advancements in digital human technology – or do you?

February 22, 2024
Simon Grieve
8 things you (probably) didn't know a digital human could do in 2024
Loading the Elevenlabs Text to Speech AudioNative Player...

In Jurassic Park, there's a magical moment when the protagonists first lay eyes on the park's dinosaurs. Paleontologist Dr. Alan Grant, played by fellow Kiwi Sam Neill, first sees them – removing his sunglasses with trembling hands to reveal his awestruck face.

Dr. Grant, like all of us who grew up in New Zealand, are used to looking at pūkeko, tūī or, at best, John Oliver’s famed pūteketeke – you can’t blame him for being awestruck.

And it's a clever bit of cinematics, because this is the first time the audience sees the dinosaurs as well, so we get to share in the character’s astonishment.

Jurassic Park was released in 1993, a time when CGI was still in its infancy. Not only did the film revolutionize how CGI would be used from then on, its special effects still hold up well today, more than 30 years later.

Until then, most cinemagoers weren't really aware of what was possible. Which, by a somewhat roundabout route, brings us to the topic of digital humans. 

Many people know what a digital human is. You've probably interacted with one yourself (perhaps on this very website). You may have followed UneeQ for some time and feel like you know all the things they're capable of doing. But we're willing to bet there's also a bunch of stuff that’s passed under your radar.

Which is fantastic – and understandable. After all, conversational AI has come on leaps and bounds in recent years, with large language model (LLM) technologies, such as ChatGPT, hitting the mainstream

With that in mind, let us try and shock you like Steven Speilberg did to audiences back in ‘93 (no pressure!)

Here are eight things you probably didn’t know digital humans can do in 2024.

1. Speak many, many languages 

The world record for the most languages spoken by a single person is 58. Take a bow, Ziad Fazah, it's an incredible accomplishment, and one that landed him a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for several years. 

Imagine Ziad working in your customer services desk! Fortunately, businesses can employ their very own version.

Digital humans that can already speak 90+ languages and hundreds of dialects. That's nearly double what even the most talented human can manage. In fact, it's one of the biggest strengths of digital humans, enabling them to serve all of your customers, wherever they may be, without leaving non-English speakers behind. 

Early this year, the City of Amarillo in Texas announced Emma, a UneeQ digital human that's been developed to help local government improve public service delivery through its website. 

Amarillo has a diverse population of more than 200,000 people, which means around 62 different languages and dialects are spoken across the city. That would leave even the esteemed Mr. Fazah coming up short by a handful of languages.  

Emma, however, can speak 96 languages fluently (with possibly more to come in 2024), so she can communicate with everyone in their native tongue to deliver the best possible service.

There are many other important reasons why multilingual service matters. But that’s a topic for another blog.

2. Improve buyer confidence 

We've talked before about how confidence is an underrated emotion during the consumer journey

Did you know a confident shopper is 2.6 times more likely to buy more products and services? Furthermore, giving customers the right information, at the right time and through the right channels can boost their buying confidence by a whopping 400%.

Put simply, if you’ve got a conversion problem, you’ve got a confidence problem.

How you fix that is not something that’s immediately obvious. But digital humans offer a proven way to do that online.

Digital humans are designed to guide and support people along the path to purchase, providing friendly conversation, detailed product information and suggestions tailored to your specific circumstances. 

Take skin-care brand Kiehl's, for example. Their digital human, Eve, chats to customers about their skin – is it oily? Dry? Sensitive? Also, what outcomes is that person hoping for from a skincare regime? 

All of this information enables Eve to establish a personalized routine for each customer, including product recommendations that will help them achieve their goals. Whether you're a skincare beginner or expert, this process builds confidence and loyalty with the brand.

And while conversions aren't everything to major brands, we'd be remiss if we didn't mention that confident customers convert. Our digital humans have helped household brand names double their online conversions – simply by guiding and matching people to what they need.

3. Reduce buyer purchase regret

Buyer's remorse is a real issue in the world of eCommerce. Being able to buy almost anything you want at the click of a button is one of the many wonders of modern technology, but with great power comes great responsibility. 

And it's fair to say that most of us have probably one-clicked our way into a few impulsive purchases at some point. Perhaps you didn't check the reviews beforehand? Or maybe your new item doesn't quite go with your current décor. 

Whatever the reason, 43% of buyers who use self-service eCommerce regret their purchasing decisions more frequently. And that’s aside from the cart abandonment rates that keep all eCommerce managers up at night.

As we mentioned in the previous section, confidence plays a big part in this. A confident customer is more likely to discern what they want and be able to choose products and services that best meet their needs. This means they're less likely to make poor purchasing decisions and end up regretting their choices.

That's the theory, but what does it mean in practice? In our work with Deutsche Telekom, we discovered that introducing a digital human helped the company reduce its cart abandonment rates by 9%.

This can have a huge impact on conversions, given that seven out of every 10 online shopping carts are abandoned, according to figures from the Baymard Institute. In fact, online stores are estimated to lose approximately $18 billion in annual sales revenue because shoppers don't make it all the way through checkout.

4. Train your sales staff  

Companies spent an average of $1,200 training each member of staff in 2022, which is a lot of money when it's estimated people forget 90% of what they are taught within a week. 

However, digital humans in staff training help businesses take their learning and development efforts to the next level. UneeQ's digital humans have been designed to role play with employees, allowing them to hone their sales skills across a range of tasks, including objection handling and technical product expertise.

This is where two advantages of digital humans become apparent. They can speak with people in real-time, so can navigate the back and forth of an in-person sales conversation. AI sales videos can’t compete. 

And they’re not real. 

Without a realistic way to roleplay, sales staff end up practising on real prospects, leading to pipeline damage and even hits to brand reputation.

A digital human is also available 24/7, across multiple devices, meaning staff can access training at a time – not just when sales training seminars are on.

You may also not be aware of the results. Our digital humans have improved training effectiveness scores from 78% in text-based training to 95%. 

5. Provide more memorable interactions 

What is the most memorable interaction that you've had with a brand within the last few years? For many people, it'll likely have involved some form of human interaction. 

Maybe it was when a knowledgeable store assistant helped you with a tricky purchase, for example, or the time customer services were able to resolve a complaint quickly and efficiently. It could even be something as simple as your favorite coffee shop remembering your usual order without being prompted.

The little things add up. Salesforce research shows that 80% of customers say the experience a brand offers is just as important as the products and services they provide. 

However, most online shopping experiences aren't particularly memorable. They're often fleeting, one-off transactions that fail to provide any meaningful engagement. 

Digital humans are one way to bridge the gap. They can offer the speed and convenience that's the hallmark of eCommerce, while also delivering the information, support, and guidance that you'd get from staff if you were shopping in-store. 

This makes the experience memorable, rather than purely transactional. 

Will they be more memorable than the coffee shop owner who remembers your order? We don’t think so – the true human touch is so valuable. But we can simulate much of that feeling online.

6. Help you remember more

People don’t just remember the feeling they get when they speak with a well designed digital human; they remember the content of that conversation more too.

Take staff training again, for instance. Our data shows that digital humans can help staff remember training resources far better than if they were using textbooks alone. 

Employees have 82% near to total recall of info they digest from a digital human, compared with a paltry 44% from textbooks.

Why this happens is also quite unique.

According to studies in the Current Health Studies Journal, 33% of people are visual learners who need to see information; 26% are auditory learners who need to hear information; and 14% are kinesthetic learners who learn by doing.

Eagle-eyed readers will notice those numbers don’t add up to 100%. In reality, people often require a combination of learning styles: 12% of visual and auditory styles equally, 6% visual and kinesthetic, 4% auditory and kinesthetic and 5% are all three styles.

If you want people to retain information, you need to cater for all these learning styles.

Digital humans are one of the few technologies that can do that – in any combination. They use visuals, they speak, they bring up text when needed, and they have real-time conversations that allow people to learn by doing. 

That greatly advances the accessibility and effectiveness of education and L&D applications.

7. Show their personality in their expressions

Okay, so maybe you already had an inkling about this one. Digital humans have a wide array of physical expressions they can use to create more humanlike conversational experiences with users. For instance, our digital humans are powered by our innovative AI animation system, Synanim™

If you've chatted with a UneeQ digital human, you'll likely have noticed that the unique mannerisms and expressions they possess provide a completely different experience to interacting with, say, a traditional chatbot or virtual assistant. 

But did you also know that digital humans can be specifically designed to show off your brand's distinctive personality through custom-made expressions and gestures? 

You can make your digital human a Trekkie who can perform the Vulcan salute, for example. Or perhaps you want them to support the University of Texas? If that's the case, then your digital human can throw the horns sign while yelling "Hook 'em horns!"

The possibilities really are endless, so it's really up to you how you want your digital human to express their personality. Just remember, a bit of personality (and body language) goes a long way to helping people connect with your brand.

It also makes digital humans more personable, and recent research has shown that customers are more than five times likelier to be happy with an overall brand experience when they talk to empathetic agents. 

8. They can live in VR and AR 

The reviews for Apple's long-awaited Vision Pro headset started to trickle in last month, and it looks to be an impressive piece of gear. Almost all the top tech commentators are saying great things about the technology, praising the quality of its visual displays, the hardware and overall user experience. 

However, it's not all positives. Its Personas – 3D personal avatars for users – are being widely described as 'uncanny' (and not in a good way). 

But regular readers will know we’re very bullish about what the launch of the Apple Vision Pro means for brands. We see it as a glimpse into the near future, and it’s a future innovation experts, brand specialists and other professionals should be incredibly excited about.

So… did you know you can launch digital humans into these 3D spaces today

Last year we launched our first digital human software development kit (SDK) to help brands deploy AI-powered digital humans quickly and easily into immersive environments.

We’re already seeing some major brands using this to build digital human experiences in extended reality, so you can imagine we’re pretty excited about this one. 

How many of these eight digital human capabilities did you know about? Did we leave you as stunned as Alan Grant at the start of Jurassic Park (don’t answer that!) Or do you have questions? We’d love to know!