Chinese Game Company Appoints AI CEO and Invests in AR

Online game company and mobile app developer NetDragon Websoft has invested $40 million in Rokid, maker of 5G-friendly AR glasses for business applications. Both companies are based in China. NetDragon has been in the news this past month when it became the first company to appoint an AI as its “rotating CEO.” Following the Rokid announcement, it appears the firm may be interested in developing lifelike AI characters to inhabit its games and augment teaching and enhance its AR initiatives, though to hear NetDragon actual CEO, Liu Dejian tell it, the company can learn a lot from its new c-suite addition, Tang Yu.

Tang Yu, who identifies as female according to her appointment announcement, “represents a major milestone” in putting NetDragon on the path “towards being a Metaverse organization,” in addition to immediate goals to “streamline process flow, enhance quality of work tasks, and improve speed of execution.” No word on how the model was trained.

While NetDragon describes her as “an AI-powered virtual humanoid robot,” it did not release a headshot.

“Tang Yu will also serve as a real-time data hub and analytical tool to support rational decision-making in daily operations, as well as to enable a more effective risk management system,” and will also have a human resources role, developing talent and “ensuring a fair and efficient workplace for all employees,” the NetDragon release explains.

AI is stepping out, and upping its profile in the process, according to Tech Times, which points out that an AI “recently joined ‘America’s Got Talent’ and secured a place in the semifinals for its singing talents.” You can read more about that on the Nvidia blog, which touts the role of its technology startup, Metaphysic, in creating the warbling artifice.

“AIs got talent as well, as it brings the development of humans into deep learning technology to create outputs that far exceed human imagination, giving creators more than they asked for,” writes Tech Times, referencing another musical AI that “aims to help rappers write verses and produce lyrics.” BrainRap, the startup behind that software, is “a modern leader in the field of music and neuroscience,” Tech Times writes.

AR would be an interesting way to experience AI onstage, or in the executive suite. As for Rokid, Semiconductor Engineering writes that it “produces AR/XR glasses for industrial and commercial markets, including an explosion-proof AR headband compatible with safety helmets” in addition to eyewear for specialized exhibits. “The company also plans to offer AR sunglasses that dock with a smartphone for the consumer market.”

In 2018, NetDragon established the Digital Research Centre at the University of North Texas in Denton.