AI-Powered Avatar from Lenovo, DeepBrain AI, and the Scott-Morgan Foundation Creates New Communication Possibilities for People with Severe Disabilities | Technology

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Unveiled at CES 2024, the hyper-realistic avatar preserves the voice and personality of a 24-year-old woman with ALS to enable unprecedented communication and connection, complemented by a personal, on-device AI from Lenovo to optimize text prediction and output.

At CES 2024, global technology leader Lenovo, assistive technology non-profit the Scott-Morgan Foundation, and AI-generated video innovator DeepBrain AI revealed a hyper-realistic AI avatar dedicated to preserving the voice, personality, and physical mannerisms of someone with a degenerative disease. The groundbreaking avatar, created with DeepBrain AI technology and spearheaded by Lenovo, opens new pathways for applying generative AI to accessibility challenges and helps advance Lenovo’s vision of AI for all.

As part of an ongoing collaboration with the Scott-Morgan Foundation, Lenovo proposed developing an AI-powered avatar to leap past traditional voice synthesis and transform communication and connection for people with severe disabilities. The Foundation invited Erin Taylor, a 24-year-old woman recently diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a neurodegenerative disorder that typically leads to full-body paralysis, to participate and help pilot a proof of concept for assistive communication.

Lenovo then approached DeepBrain AI, a leader in next-gen avatars and a Lenovo AI Innovator partner, to use its generative AI technology. Sponsored by Lenovo, the DeepBrain AI team captured a detailed full-body video of Taylor in its California studio. The video became the foundational data for her new AI avatar, debuted at CES 2024, and offering 96 percent true-to-life accuracy.

“This is a fantastic example of the untapped potential of generative AI to empower individuals and build a more inclusive future, especially with such visionary collaborators,” said Scott Tease, vice president and general manager of High-Performance Computing and AI at Lenovo. “Leveraging our expansive solutions portfolio and in-house expertise, we love finding these opportunities to reimagine what’s possible and help

Lenovo’s also developed a prototype for a new predictive AI tool to accelerate text input when a traditional keyboard or voice-to-speech technology is not an option—as with advanced ALS. The personal, on-device AI operates entirely offline, leveraging a compressed large language model (LLM) to offer the speed, reliability, and accuracy essential when communicating health information or other urgent needs. This follows Lenovo’s approach to Hybrid AI, operating across public, private, and personal foundation models that the…

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