This week, Baidu, the Chinese tech company, unveiled XiRang, its metaverse, at Baidu’s Create 2021 conference. Human and AI avatars inhabit an entire virtual city known as “Creator City” within XiRang. Creator City contains original locations as well as replicas of famed locales.
XiRang is accessible via an app on computers, smartphones, and Pico VR headsets. To use XiRang users simply have to register on the app and then create an avatar. Users can then traverse the virtual world as their avatar. They can then have their avatars interact with one another by facing each other and talking. XiRang’s avatars were created using Baidu’s XiLing platform, which also premiered this week.
Currently, XiRang supports up to 100,000 guests at a time; however, the app is still under development and will eventually host a much higher number. This week, Baidu hosted its first conference within its metaverse. The meeting was attended by Robin Li, CEO of Baidu, and other company execs.
Li believes the metaverse will lead to a “golden era of AI over the next ten years,” reports Voicebot. Baidu has over 1 million employees developing AI with plans to reach 5 million within the next five years. Li told Voicebot, “Creators are our companions in pursuing our dreams of technology.
XiLing: Baidu’s Avatar Creation Platform
Baidu’s platform XiLing uses artificial intelligence to create virtual avatars for a variety of mediums. This AI cloud platform can create virtual humans of varying realism, and the company even showcased an AI Sign Language anchor at this week’s presentation. Baidu describes XiLing as a one-stop service that can create virtual hosts, idols, and brand spokespersons.
More and more virtual human tools have appeared on the market over the last few years as their value rises. Virtual humans such as Princess Kaya and Miquela Sousa are quite successful on TikTok. Sber, a Russian tech company, created a virtual human to host a television show in November 2021. Virtual humans will continue to be a lucrative industry with the metaverse revolving around avatar interaction.