NVIDIA launches new AI engine to enhance metaverse avatars

Graphics card manufacturer NVIDIA has revealed that it has been developing a new cloud-based AI engine that will allow developers to “easily build, customize, and deploy engaging and interactive avatars”.

Previously announced at SIGGRAPH 2022, the NVIDIA Omniverse Avatar Cloud Engine (ACE) will also allow developers to manage multiple AI models for various applications, such as virtual universes and games.

NVIDIA also revealed the upcoming version of its Omniverse Kit and applications such as Audio2Face and Machinima, which would enable users to create and experience more realistic and physical representations of their digital avatars. The new features allow users to have more control over their avatar’s facial expressions and developers to create 3D virtual universes that comply with the laws of physics.

“The next wave of Omniverse worlds is moving to the cloud — and new features for Omniverse Kit, Nucleus, PhysX, Audio2Face, and Machinima apps allow users to better build physically accurate digital twins and realistic avatars, and redefine how virtual worlds are created and experienced,” said NVIDIA in a blog post.

According to Rev Lebaredian, NVIDIA’s Vice President of Omniverse & Simulation Technology, the lack of human-like representations in the metaverse would lead to a “very dull and sad place”. That is why through Omniverse ACE, NVIDIA claimed that developers could also create AI-powered digital assistants that interact with users through their voice assistants, such as Amazon’s Alexa and SIRI.

In addition to ACE and the updates to its Omniverse Kit, the company also announced various other tools and programs for designers and creators to create 3D content in a simpler and more accessible manner. These include 3D MoMa, which would allow developers to create realistic 3D objects from 2D content, as well as NeuralVDB and Kaolin Wisp.

Embracing growing industry

The company’s announcement is the latest example of how the industry is starting to embrace metaverse technology. As more companies and governments realize the technology’s potential, more people are beginning to zero in on the available advanced character and virtual universes.

During a panel discussion at a blockchain convention last May, it was revealed that many retailers and brands are starting to look at the potential of the metaverse and Web 3.0.

In an interview with Analytics India Magazine, Mukundan Govindaraj of Solutions Architecture–Omniverse said that the time it takes to create a virtual world is becoming more time-consuming due to the increasing number of people and governments taking a look at the technology.

“Having a design team behind recreating the real world as virtual space is time-consuming and not very efficient considering the pace at which the metaverse is growing. We need AI to offload all the repetitive takes that a designer is intended to do and rather focus on other aspects of virtual world creation,” said Govindaraj.

The increasing number of people and governments taking a look at the potential of the metaverse has led to the rapid development of various innovations related to the technology. Some of these include the creation of new character models and the development of computerized monetary standards.

NVIDIA itself has also been heavily involved in the blockchain industry, with the company’s block reward mining chip line being a critical component of its revenue.