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Unith’s (ASX:UNT) Digital Humans are revolutionising human-computer interaction
May 26, 2023
We spoke with Idan Schmorak, CEO of Unith (ASX:UNT), about the company’s Digital Humans Experience and how generative Artificial Intelligence is rapidly changing the way we interact with computers.
Full transcription below.
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Marc: Hello and welcome to “Stocks Down Under.” Today, I’m joined by Idan Schmorak the CEO of Unith. Good morning, I think it is in Tel Aviv, Idan.
Idan: Good morning, Marc.
Marc: So, you joined what used to be Crowd Media a little while ago. It’s rebadged to Unith. Investors that are not familiar with the story, can you talk them through what you guys do?
Idan: Definitely. Crowd Media was a media-tech company traded in ASX offices in Amsterdam. I joined in September 2021 in order to make vision come true. The vision was to create digital humans, digital doubles that businesses could speak with their clients, with those digital humans. We’ve reshaped the company, we restructured the company, cleaned the balance sheet, raised funds, and have built a tech team that created really special technology that allows us to create a digital double of anyone, and let a business speak with their clients with that digital double. So, you could create a digital double of yourself, and have a one-on-one conversation with your clients.
Our offices are in Amsterdam, in the Netherlands, and in Barcelona, Spain, where the tech team is based. We have rebranded the company in November or December of 2022 after we finished restructuring the company, building the tech, commercializing the tech showing that there is true value in what is that that we provide. And now we are finalizing the development towards a more scaled release. Now we have signed several licenses to prove the concept, to get the product running, to gather analytics with users. And by the end of the calendar year, we would go to a broader release that will address more users, and allow them, the users being small, medium, large businesses, communicate with their clients on scale using a digital human. And that digital human could be their own by using duplicating, cloning their voice and faces.
Marc: Right. And so, maybe you wanted to use cases to help clarify where you sit specifically.
Idan: Yeah, definitely. Imagine you are going to a hotel and before you actually check in and [inaudible 00:02:41.273] already at your origin, you are talking with a digital concierge that helps you get your bookings done, check-in, get recommendation around town. Or even in a more down-to-earth day-to-day thing, going to your online banking, and communicating with a digital human, which is your account manager. This could be across several disciplines from finance to hotels. In medicine, we’ve seen a lot of interest because we are really good in delivering the more complicated information. So, medicine, insurance, getting a large amount of information, getting the attention of the user, and getting what the business wants to deliver done quick. And we take all of that data, we crunch it with really smart tools, and we humanize it with a digital human.
Marc: Right. So, it’s much more than a chatbot. Right? That’s it’s much more diverse, much more technology behind it.
Idan: Yes. We’ve been working on this for a while, but I think generative AI, which is exactly what we do, we generate with artificial intelligence and machine learning tools that we have developed, and we’ve invested in order to develop for quite a while, in order to deliver information and experience. I think the latest buzz was around ChatGPT. GPT is a system that we are well aware of, and have been working and experimenting with for some years. ChatGPT was a release, which is broad that was made a few months ago. But the technology exists, and we connect to this technology.
And our next generation of our product will allow clients to upload their knowledge base, so, imagine you have a business, and you want your marketeer, your salesperson, your account manager to be a digital human. So, you would go in our system, you would upload your knowledge base, whether in marketing and sales, onboarding whatever you choose. And you will have a digital human on the other end that would know how to communicate all of these, and could answer any question. And we are really good in recognizing what the user meant, natural language understanding, and get the best answer out of the database.
Marc: Right. And so, you’re already working on that, right? And your roadmap, there’s clear sort of pathway to get it included in your product. So, how does that impact the quality of the talking heads, because that’s what you call them, right, the digital humans?
Idan: Yes, right. Digital humans, yes. So, it does not affect the quality at all. It’s a tech development that we have announced that we’re going to do in the beginning of the year. We went through a capital race to fund this development. And we are actually in late stages of getting this done. It does not affect the quality whatsoever. It is just something that we have needed to develop and invest in tech resources in order to make this happen. And what it actually gives us is a brand new ability to have an endless open conversation with the digital human. If until today, we have wrote answers and questions based on a large amount of answers of questions that we have gathered. Now we are able to take a closed dataset of information from a client. And for example, it’s not like ChatGPT that could go and enhance the information in places and make mistakes, we want one that with our questions, so we would always base it on what they want to deliver.
Marc: Right. Okay. And so, if you look on the market to see what’s out there, you know, in your field today, how are you guys different? What sets Unith apart from what’s out there already?
Idan: So, a lot of companies today, if you want to create a digital human, put text in, and see a digital human speaks, you will have a lot of companies doing that. And their humans would even look better than what we provide. But we focus on one-on-one conversation. What we do is conversational AI. We bring in conversation into the conversation, and we let the clients create their own digital humans to speak live. And this is something which is rather a blue ocean. There are several other companies that are providing a similar solution. But the technology that we have created, our proprietary technology, allows us to deliver this on a lower price point. If you would look on the main competitors out there that do this with 3D technologies, it means that they need a lot of firepower, [inaudible 00:07:11.651] means of server usage to deliver the solution, which means high cost, six-digit numbers yearly, hundreds of thousands of dollars U.S. in order to pay for the solution.
And we introduced the solution, which is a fraction of the price just because we use servers in a more efficient way. We do not use graphic processing unit. We use central processing units, which is our IP. And with that, we’re able to deliver an experience which looks better, and is less costly, which is allowing clients to…which are by nature, early adopters of technology to try and use this technology with a lower ticket in order to get it.
Marc: Right. Okay. So, talking about money, can you talk about your business model, and how you guys make money off the technology?
Idan: Yes, definitely. So, I think today, we’ve signed a few enterprise clients, we call them, companies that we’ve sold directly to, and that they would use it to speak with their employees, some of their clients, some of them with patients in health care. But when we look forward to the future, we want to scale this tremendously by creating a self-service platform. So, the vision is having a platform in which any business could log in, create a digital human, choose the face, choose the voice, and upload their knowledge base, and create a conversation based on that knowledge base, delivered in a humanized I hope, funny way because I think humor is always a great way to deliver information.
And then they could pay for it, or they could have a very basic version of it for free, a freemium model like Canva does, like Atlassian does. And by the nature of the experience that they wanna get, if they wanna get a head, which is outside of the free library, or a voice, the same, or a more complicated conversation with the GPT abilities, then they would upgrade to a premium plan, which would vary between the quality of the experience, and the amount of users that they would speak with.
We have a very clear roadmap on how are we going to launch it. We’re gonna do a limited release towards the end of the calendar year. And then we’re going to grow depending on the demand. And we’re a tech company, some sorts of a startup in [inaudible 00:09:33.525] way. So, we adapt the software to the demand. Our most crucial job is to create a software that the most people, the most businesses would want to use, and that it would give them maximum value. So, we’re working very hard every day to adapt the platform to the needs that we think from the analytics that we’re gathering today that will supply that value proposition.
Marc: Right. So, it could even be something that a small company like Stocks Down Under could use in a freemium model.
Idan: [crosstalk 00:10:03.428].
Marc: And as soon as we want, you know, a bit more bells and whistles you can start to pay in some form of subscription basically.
Idan: Correct. And it puts us the only one in the market that are currently today delivering this kind of solution.
Marc: Right. Okay. So, if you look at strategy in the next couple of years, so what’s the plan? Where do you think you’re going, how do you wanna get there, and then what’s been done so far?
Idan: So, first, we need to get the tech done, the techs done straight for a lot of users to be able to talk with a lot of talking heads in the same time, and with the same creating them. So, the strategy is first to finish, and get to a minimum viable platform that we can launch. Once we do the soft launch, we’re gonna measure the kinds of users that we are getting, the amount of people that they’re communicating with. On their behalf, we collect a lot of analytics all subject to GDPR, and local regulations as much as we can to get learnings out of it.
And then we will start mass marketing, mass marketing to get to users, which are not through cold sales, and just the sales team, which we are building right now with the development team, but also through online marketing, Google Media Bank, which is an ability that we have on the other side of the business as well, and get scale on this. So, it will always be a flexible graph, which is increasing with the tech, and with commercialization. On the end game, it will be a free version, a premium version, and an enterprise version, like any other services to software SAS business.
Marc: Right. Okay. And in terms of timeline, so you mentioned soft launch, when is that scheduled for?
Idan: By the end of the calendar year, end of 2023, we hope to get a few more clients on the way there to support the analytics, and to support actually trying to see that the system is stable enough, and communicating simultaneously with a lot of customers. With that, adding features all the time, we are not only improving the conversation, we also improve the human likeness, which is a huge part of it. There will be demos of us playing in the background of this conversation I hope. So, the mouth areas, the area that we synthesize today, but we plan on increasing the area. We’ve formed successful experiments that prove our hypothesis that it is possible. And with the platform launch in the end of the calendar year, our clients would be able to receive a smarter talking head, and a better-looking digital human.
Marc: Right. Okay. And yeah, talking about clients, you’ve been working with what you call a big five tech client for a little while. Unfortunately, you can’t mention the name, which is often the case in technology. But can you update us a little bit on what’s happening with that particular client, and what the sort of the timelines are maybe, and where that’s going? Because that could potentially be a showcase customer for you.
Idan: Yes, definitely. We’re very proud in that achievement. And with that, we are very frustrated that we can’t use their name, but it’s not our decision. We did on board, and we did scope a project with one of the biggest companies in the world in order to help them with a business need. And we did, and they’ve signed a license for three talking heads. We have delivered the first talking head digital human. We have distributed that internally within their organization. And today, even when we speak, there are employees in that case of that organization speaking with digital humans, and consuming information that helps their day-to-day business.
We are gathering a lot of analytics, and we are now in these weeks, are scoping the second digital human to deploy to them. And we are working internally with their teams to see how can we scale this experience within the organization because when this experience grows, when they sign further licenses, this could be an incredible opportunity for Unith from two sides. One, we have a lot of users speaking with the software, talking with the software, using the software, which is the main goal of this. And the second goal is to commercialize, of course. It’s one of the biggest companies in the world. When they use our software, and when they are becoming a major client, and when our solution helps them a lot, the financial opportunity, the commercial opportunity for Unith, of course, is there, it is still there, and we are very pleased to see they’re happy with the solution.
Marc: Right. Exciting times, Idan, exciting times. Thank you very much for your time. This is one of those stories, right, that you’re sort of flying under the radar, I think for a lot of investors, but this is something that could potentially scale up tremendously. So, all the best in rolling out the product, and we’ll be sure to touch base, you know, in a couple of months, maybe get an update from you.
Idan: Thank you very much, Marc. Have a great day.