As Ericsson One leaders Daniel Alexus and Parth Radia reflect on how digital human technologies fuel conversational authenticity and intent, they share Spiceworks News & Insights technology editor Neha Kulkarni. Using advanced AI algorithms, Ericsson has made it its mission to streamline data collection and training procedures from the ground up for diversity, they inform.
From bridging the gap between demand and supply of tech talent, to fostering the growth and innovation of new companies, in this edition of Tech Talk, Daniel and Parth share a masterclass on how digital humans have enabled connected experiences. They also talk about the technology trends that will most likely directly shape the future of the digital human.
- Digital human technologies are typically the product of AI algorithms trained on petabytes
- Digital humans have arrived as the enabling technology for everyday human interaction
- Diverse data ensures connected experiences powered by digital humans are not compromised
Here are the edited excerpts from our exclusive interview with Daniel Alexus, Founder and Global Head of Ericsson ONE and Parth Radia, Founder, CTO and CPO, Ericsson Digital Human Platform:
SWNI: During and after the pandemic, the tech industry has faced one of its most critical challenges – the tech skills shortage. How did Ericsson ONE view this challenge?
Daniel: Faced with the skills shortage in the technical field, Ericsson ONE saw this not as a challenge but as an opportunity to remain competitive. Pioneering new business ideas and providing a vehicle for intrapreneurs to contribute beyond the traditional ecosystem of Ericsson’s expertise has been an engine for innovation, made possible by providing resources to employees to build new growth companies based on highly successful and deployable technology. With the support of a diverse team of experts offering guidance and coaching every step of the way, employees can not only grow in their careers but also contribute significantly to the growth of the company and technology landscape.
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SWNI: In order to create hugely successful ventures and become the CEO of their own company, tech startups need to attract the right talent to accelerate their growth. What support and coaching tips does Ericsson ONE offer tech startups to bridge the gap between demand and supply of tech talent?
Daniel and Parth: Intrapreneurs at Ericsson who contribute to the platform go through several phases. Once ideas are first presented, they are reviewed by a highly qualified team who decide whether to move the idea to the next phase of implementation in Ericsson’s portfolio.
“Leveraging in-house technology talent is a key to our business growth, which will ultimately benefit our customers and the professional development of our employees. Globally, more than 90% of all startups and almost half fail because of products that were created for problems that don’t exist.”
Once the innovative idea has reached this stage of the process, the intrapreneurs will reach out to stakeholders at Ericsson to cement investment in the presented idea. Ericsson’s intrapreneurs will receive support at all stages of innovation, including training, resources, funding and early adopter customers who will help launch the rapidly scaling company.
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SWNI: Let’s talk about digital people. Digital humans have long been used as an extension of conversational AI in healthcare and customer care. What factors drove you to use digital people to drive new business growth and innovation across industries?
Daniel and Parth: As we have seen the world become increasingly connected on an unprecedented scale through ongoing globalization, digital people have arrived as the foundational technology for everyday human interaction. The pandemic has challenged us to adapt our ways of working to dynamic, far-off contexts and created a need to be more “present” in increasingly diverse (often virtual) situations.
“In this climate, digital people are an asset to a variety of industries as they enhance our ability to communicate and collaborate. For example, imagine a world where you could automatically speak in any language on a video call. Or immerse yourself in a meeting on the other side of the planet in photorealistic 3D.”
Both worlds are made possible by digital people. The Ericsson Digital Human Platform takes a step forward into the exciting future of connected human experience and is helping to unlock a serviceable market expected to reach $1 billion by 2027.
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SWNI: Much of the communication is non-verbal. How do digital people ensure accurate and effective delivery of these important aspects of the conversation?
Daniel and Parth: Industry-leading digital human technologies are typically the product of AI algorithms trained on petabytes of high-quality 3D human data—a visual genome (of a species) of the human population. Such rich, diverse data helps ensure connected experiences fueled by digital people are uncompromised in terms of conversational authenticity and intent.
SWNI: There is an ongoing debate about critical aspects of AI performance, including bias, ethics, and overall control. How does the Ericsson ONE digital human platform work on an unbiased framework?
Daniel and Parth: In capturing one of the world’s first and only 3D human datasets in a specialty acquisition studio, we made it our mission to optimize our data acquisition and training processes from the ground up for diversity. While the platform is still in its infancy, it has the raw data and tools to optimize it for transparency and ethical (including bias) considerations.
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SWNI: With the increasing adoption of large AI models and XR in enterprises, which trends are most likely to directly shape the future of the digital human?
Daniel and Parth: In the coming years, the lines between large virtual worlds (likely to be built or enhanced using large, generative AI models) and the real world will blur.
“Digital humans will be our passports to these diverse mixed realities, enhancing our ability to contribute to an increasingly borderless climate in new and interesting ways.”
About Daniel Alexus
Founder and Global Head of Ericsson ONE – Award-winning (Corporate Super Stars 2022) – Intrapreneurship and Venture Builder/Studio dedicated to helping in-house entrepreneurs/intrapreneurs and innovators test and scale their ideas to become Ericsson’s next growth bets. Prior to Ericsson ONE, Alexus held various GM and strategy roles at Ericsson, including serving as General Manager at MetraTech, a Boston-based software company acquired by Ericsson in 2014.
About Parth Radia
Parth Radia is a product and technology leader driving innovation at the intersection of AI and everyday life. During his time at Premier, Fortune 500 innovation centers in a variety of roles (applied research, engineering, product, management), Parth has demonstrated a unique, holistic ability to identify, ignite, and ignite breakthrough ideas from initial concept and invention through and to accompany product. He is currently the founder and leader of Ericsson’s Digital Human efforts aimed at enabling the next generation of connected experiences.
About Ericsson One
Ericsson ONE is an internal accelerator for Ericsson employees with groundbreaking new business ideas. The program gives talented people the opportunity to develop these ideas and build successful businesses beyond Ericsson’s core business. By leveraging Ericsson’s global reach, technology, relationships and expertise, they help drive startups to success
Tech Talk is an interview series with notable CTOs and senior technology executives from around the world. Join us as we speak to these technology and IT leaders as they share their insights and research into data, analytics and emerging technologies. If you are a tech pro and want to share your thoughts, write to [email protected]
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