K-Humans: When intelligent assistants have had a VR body

Milan, Italy | 2005-2008

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My professional career was deeply influenced by "The Knowledge Navigator"  video concept (Apple, 1987). Maybe that's why in 2005, I enthusiastically accepted joining a company pretending to create intelligent virtual assistants: The K-Humans.

I led their R&D Lab, taking care of each visible aspect of the project and infusing theatrical human behaviors into our digital agents.

The technology readiness level: mobile 3D, Voice recognition & the multi-brain approach.

Many years earlier than Siri, when voice technology became addressable from a browser, we attempted a double jump: bringing voice and a 3D full-body animated intelligent agent to the web. - HER, the Movie: love is the ultimate UX | From GUI to E(motional) UI (2006)

Computer as a Theather | Digital Empathy 

Digital agents with a face should not serve without empathy

When t goes to virtual assistants, the mother of all the questions becomes: "should digital agents have a face?" K-humans were conceived as B2B advanced answering machines, and we liked providing them with faces to represent the brand and the service.  
A side market comes both from a
behavioral and visual customization.

Business Case

Role

Impact

Kallideas Group, was a 50+ people company, organized both with operative and research teams. 

K-Humans is the product name for the intelligent digital agents we designed and delivered to the market.

As R&B Lab Director I hired a multidisciplinary team, including video game artist and 3D-oriented design team: talents that are uncommon -and not easy at all to find and involve- for the web business.  

 

My contribution impacted at many levels:
- Company culture and positioning
- Company Storytelling and Media engagement
- Thought leadership
- A.I. approach
- 3D Visual representation 
- Sales 


 

Experiments and Lesson learned

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Creating Gabi, the first k-human that get hired in a BigCo.

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Do it on a NOKIA's phone. :O

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Each k-human had a specific visual identity, mood engine, and knowledge base. Each of those artifact was able to address a specific topic or provide a specific service. 

The quest for k-humans' empathy was a very distinctive point of the offering. As year later HER -the movie- told a broader audience:"Love is the ultimate user experience."

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Claudia was the main product in the K-humans family and the most famous one. She went on several newspaper and magazines, including Creative Communication (USA).

Claudia compare its newer vs. old version.

K-humans, business case video storyboards

2B Green: VA routing calls to the human expert

GASLAMP: Routing users to differentiated banking services