How 3D And AI Are Driving The Experience Economy
At first glance, the emerging tech and spirits industries might seem unlikely bed fellows. But in reality, the two are converging in fascinating ways to drive new, innovative trends. While many industries are still struggling with even the slightest trial of any of the various tech components driving the fourth industrial revolution, creative minds from both the liquor and emerging tech spaces are being drawn together with the goal of creating edgy, new types of adventures for consumers. Today, it’s all about leveraging and infusing AI and 3D with the spirits industry to seize what many brands are currently chasing; transformation and dominance within the experience economy.
ORBAI, a leading developer of human artificial intelligence technology, is using 3D as part of what the company calls Human AI, and one of its first creations is a bartender.
The company’s proprietary software consists of what is called advanced, spiking neuromorphic networks (SSNs). Such tech powers speech, vision and 3D animation for the company’s models and is a DNA-of-sorts behind “James,” a life size, interactive, 3D holographic bartender. People can talk to him, interact with him and he can be hooked up with a robotic drink maker to make people cocktails. No need to worry about bending your local bartender’s ear about professional or family woes any longer. Meet your latest confidant and mixologist.
At a cost of only $20,000 for this life-size holopod, James has been demoed heavily at tradeshows and conferences including the upcoming Singularity University Global Summit 2019, which takes place in just a few days on August 19-21, 2019 in San Francisco.
Though far from easy work, Orbai is applying great focus to this holographic area because the company believes that there are many advantages for organizations that want to drive experience via customer engagement with this type of human AI technology. “For example, unlike humans, AI employees can access enormous databases of all the company’s products, services and schedules instantly,” explains Orbai CEO Brent Oster. “They can also work 24/7/365, don’t tire of answering the same repetitive questions, and they can be trained with the characteristics of the company’s best employees and replicated to many branches instantaneously. Our SNNs consist of technology that is designed to closely mirror the brain’s natural neural network to make interaction as life-like as possible.”
There are, of course, several limitations. For example, Oster says that 3D characters tend to fall a little short in noisier public places and/or when people interact with the interfaces improperly. “The characters, with their stilted talking and stiff animation can also almost look human, but flaws in their appearance, animation, speech and intelligence can also make them seem a bit creepy to us at present, ” Oster explains.
As well as deploying their Human AI in ORBAI’s 3D Holographic Employees, the technology will be licensed as a speech interface for home, devices and automobiles with optional hologram.
But back to James and… his friends.
As if dealing with real people is often not hard enough, Orbai has also developed Gen2 AI Employees entitled “Miku the Greeter” and “Claire the Concierge.” Each character has a speech interface that is said to be on par with Siri or Alexa though the domain of cocktails is still firmly under James’ jurisdiction.
ORBAI says that it is currently the only company in the world working on such offerings because it holds the only patented methods for training and evolving these SNNs to execute such tasks such as speech and vision. “We will definitely start to see more of James in 2020, and he’ll have a full bar menu ready!” exclaims Oster.
3D is also being leveraged in, perhaps, a more accessible yet still innovative manner by Diageo’s Bulleit Bourbon whiskey, billed by the company as the frontier whiskey. “For us,” explains Sophie Kelly, Senior VP Diageo North American Whiskey, “our marketing platform always goes back to ‘making friends on new cultural frontiers.’ Thus, we’ve always partnered with different creatives to help connect the brand as part of what we call our ‘Frontier Works’ platform to engage, but this time we sat back and decided that we wanted to do something new and different and tap into what’s next.”
And that, they did.
This first bourbon to offer a high rye addition to the recipe decided to look toward tech to continue its reputation as a leader. Kelly says that the company saw 3D printing disrupting a number of industries and, therefore, a huge source of creation. So she and her team decided that 3D could be instrumental in generating a new type of experience for the brand via both the bar and served drinks.
Kelly and her team began to research and then partner with tailor-made innovators in the space. The first was Print a Drink which is based in Germany and has figured out a way to not just serve drinks with a robotic arm but actually create designs with a robotic arm through a delicate balance of suspended lemon drops and other elements that delivers an entirely new experience in a shot glass.