Chief Content Officer,
Techstrong Group

ServiceNow and NVIDIA this week previewed a set of avatars that make use of artificial intelligence (AI) to automate customer service tasks.

Demonstrated at the Knowledge 2024 conference hosted by ServiceNow, the two companies showcased a digital avatar created by using NVIDIA NIM inference microservices and NVIDIA Avatar Cloud Engine (ACE) to provide an avatar with speech and animation capabilities using NVIDIA Riva for automatic speech recognition and text-to-speech, NVIDIA Audio2Face for facial animation, and NVIDIA Omniverse Renderer for high-quality visual output.

The two companies also noted they are further exploring the use of AI avatars to provide another communication option for users who prefer more visual interactions with an avatar that looks and sounds human.

NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang told conference attendees that over time multiple instances of avatars using AI will be able to communicate with each other to automate a range of workflows. “Our AIs will talk to other AIs,” he noted.

ServiceNow is already making a case for using multiple AI assistants to automate everything from customer service and support tasks to IT service management (ITSM). At the core of that effort is a Now software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform that is integrated with multiple large language models (LLMs) that will be tuned to automate various tasks.

In addition, ServiceNow is enabling organizations to plug their own LLMs into its platform to better customize those workflows.
Each organization will need to determine to what degree to leverage AI assistants that, in time, will evolve into avatars that will be imbued with human-like attributes and will become more realistic as processing technologies continue to advance.

In addition, LLMs will continue to gain more advanced reasoning capabilities. The issue that organizations will encounter is that AI models surface probabilistic recommendations based on the data that has been exposed to them. There will always be a need for humans to supervise that output, especially when the outcome desired needs to be consistently the same every time a task is performed.

The one thing that is certain, however, is that many of the low-level tasks that are today performed by humans will soon be shifted to avatars. That’s critical because there may soon come a day when it won’t be possible to hire enough people to manage those tasks. A global study published today by ServiceNow in collaboration with Pearson finds that even with advances in AI, demand for additional workers will increase substantially over the next five years, with 1 million additional workers needed in the U.S. alone.

Most organizations are not going to be able to recruit and retain enough workers, so the only way to ensure economic growth will be to augment humans with AI assistants, the report concludes.

Digital CxOs will naturally be at the forefront of this transition. The challenge, as always, will be not so much mastering the technology that enables digital avatars as much as it will be navigating the cultural changes that are about to change the way we all work and play.