AI-generated media can sound a bit sci-fi. But it’s not something we’ll enjoy in 10 or 20 years time. It’s here.

Humans, a Romanian deep-tech startup raised 330.000 € to develop a system capable of generating synthetic (AI-driven) media

The technology they’re working on is a doozie. Basically, Humans used recent developments in Artificial Intelligence to create a system that manipulates voice, images and gesticulation to synthetic representations of an identity. The system is also known as digital DNA, or synthetically generated media.

But what can we use it for?

Humans’ technology has a lot of applications.

For example, the technology will allow for audiobooks production by your favorite narrator, without him needing to be involved in the project. You could have Neil DeGrasse Tyson teaching you a physics class while he’s lounging on a sofa, unaware of what you need. This technology literally creates identities.

The plan is to adapt this technology to create a platform, where you can get famous people to consent to an adaptation into a synthetic media generator, and they’ll be promoting it B2B in different industries.

Considering how cool this project is, you bet there’s a strong team behind it. They count computer technology experts, software veterans and internationally-recognized olympians among their ranks. Although they’re still hiring experienced developers, they’re also focused on creating an ethical ground for this technology.

„The democratization of this technology creates the need to define a very clear ethical framework, and this is one of Humans’ priorities. Synthetic media will be a revolution, with uncountable positive benefits in a ton of industries, but that creates the need to take responsibility for how this technology is developed and used.” - Sabin Dima, Humans CEO

That’s the purpose of this round of financing, which was spearheaded by Early Game Ventures, a trust fund that invests in Romanian Startups from emerging markets, and ROCA X, a private investor focused on disruptive technologies. It’s also telling for the value of the project that this round of financing came during the CoVid19 crisis:

„The fact that we were able to attract renown investors, in a period when they analyze the businesses they support much more carefully, is a validation of our technology’s huge potential. We have an ambitious vision- we want people to create anything they can imagine through our platform. As such, by generating content algorithms, we’ll be able to analyze the ideas we have without budget, time, space or skill restraints. Even in the current context of social distancing, our technology can prove its practical usability, because it allows audio-video content generation without physical presence.” - Sabin Dima, Humans CEO

As for the investors, they’re just as hopeful in the project:

„We invest in companies that have the potential to change the status quo, and Humans is developing the type of disruptive technology that will reshape industries, creating unprecedented leaps and never before seen capabilities. A new era begins, which will push the limits of what humans can do digitally, and we’re glad to be among the first people to support this innovation” - Dan Calugareanu, Early Game Ventures partner.

But What Is Deep Tech?

We kept throwing that term around, but it’s important to get on the same page about it.

Deep tech startups are based on substantial scientific advancement and wondrous feats of engineering prowess. Humans counts computer science PhD students in its team, and they’re extremely focused on very disruptive technologies born out of meticulous study.

Because that’s another characteristic of deep tech companies - they have a lengthy R&D, and it sometimes takes long years to go to market with a deep tech product. Besides the time, budget is an issue all the time.Deep tech startups need investors that believe in them in the long-term. ROIs may take years to come, so we can expect this round of financing Humans received to be the first in many.

But that doesn’t mean the risk is always so big.

Usually, deep tech companies have well-protected patents that act as a competitive advantage and a proof of concept for investors. 

As you can guess, deep tech companies are usually focused on AI-related fields, but that’s not exclusive. We’ve seen deep tech innovation in a number of fields throughout the years, including: blockchain, biotechnology, quantum computing, robotics, and many more.

Ultimately, deep tech companies are about making dreams come true.

And we hope they continue putting in the hours, because what they launch in the end can be life-changing.

May 11, 2020

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