A Liverpool firm that develops ‘digital humans’ powered by artificial intelligence is heading to Japan for a trade mission. Tony McDonough reports
A pioneering digital venture based in Liverpool is one of just 13 UK firms chosen to go on a trade mission to Japan.
Founded in 2022, Sum Vivas specialises in creating interactive, AI-powered ‘digital humans’, environments, clothing, and 3D digital assets. They are for use in both the physical and digital worlds.
It has been chosen by the Department for Business and Trade as one of only a small number of businesses to join its UK Northern Powerhouse delegation to Japan.
Sum Vivas will be one of 13 UK companies, alongside the Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, and leader of Manchester City Council, Cllr Bev Craig in December, on the DBT’s mission to Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo.
Its digital humans can interact and communicate in real-time, creating a new and innovative tool for brands to communicate with their target audiences.
By integrating digital humans with subject or sector-specific information, it enables them to become a ‘topic genius’ across sectors including hospitality, retail, automotive, entertainment and healthcare.
Rob Sims, co-founder and chief executive of Sum Vivas, said: “This is an exciting time in our sector as we are seeing an acceptance of digital humans globally, which are becoming brand ambassadors and customer concierges.
“Agencies are guiding brands in this new world, while we are at the forefront of showcasing British innovation in this space in Japan.
“I’m looking forward to building collaborations with top technology brands and agencies that the Japanese market is known for, and the possibility of combining this with our Digital Human offer is inspiring.”
As part of the Japan mission, Sum Vivas will be showcasing the digital human, Dex – the UK’s first digital human DJ/influencer. It has recently been named as the official brand ambassador for Digital Fashion Week.
In September Sum Vivas secured a £45,000 grant from the Government-backed Innovate UK. This cash will be used to further its work in developing the digital humans.
Denise Harris, co-founder and chief creative officer, added: “The technology that we have developed brings campaign creativity into reality.
“For example, making it possible to use an AI-powered digital human across advertising campaigns, online and in-store, representing brands and interacting with customers in real-time.”