Virtual Tom Cruise Creator Metaphysic Rasies $7.5M to Develeop Metaverse Virtual Beings
Virtual being and synthetic media startup Metaphysic has raised $7.5 million in a seed round led by Section 32. Metaphysic uses AI to create virtual audio and visual experiences and videos, including its recent hyperrealistic Tom Cruise deepfake seen above.
Metaphysic’s platform offers tools for producing computer-generated images and sounds that mimic the real world. For instance, the Tom Crusie deepfake takes existing video and audio of the actor to synthesize a video of the actor above, although the company emphasizes its focus on ethically sourcing the data it uses for the synthetic media. These tools can create digital avatars that can integrate into the interconnected virtual worlds called the metaverse. The new funding includes investment from internet personality Logan Paul, as well as Winklevoss Capital, 8VC and TO Ventures. The London-based startup will leverage the new money to improve and expand the scope of its content creation tools for synthetic media and bring them to the metaverse platforms created by tech giants like Nvidia and Facebook parent company Meta.
“We’re thrilled to have the support of amazing investors who have deep experience scaling novel technologies and creating cutting-edge, viral content. Together, we will build artificial intelligence and data management tools that let creators import their perception of reality into virtual worlds,” Metaphysic CEO Thomas Graham said in a statement. “Forward-thinking investors and content creators understand that the future of the human experience is heading into the digital realm and, in turn, are excited by Metaphysic’s groundbreaking technology that elevates the quality of digital experiences to such a high extent that there is a seamless transition between the metaverse and real-life itself.”
The metaverse has been rapidly evolving from a niche tech term to a critical element of future technology over the last couple of years. Last February, the launch of MetaHuman Creator by Unreal set off an accelerating rollout among voice and visual AI developers, with investors and clients eager to sign up and be a part of the new worlds. Startups like Hour One, Supertone, Resemble AI, Veritone, and DeepBrain are all grabbing cash and clients as AI-powered versions. Most recently, metaverse human avatar generator Ready Player Me raised $13 million for improving its three-dimensional digital character platform. Virtual beings are popping up everywhere. YouTube star Taryn Southern’s virtual clone, the story-telling virtual William Shatner, Nestle Toll House’s virtual “cookie coach” Ruth, and Sber’sRussian television host are just the beginning.
Meta’s metaverse announcement and virtual office debut, Baidu’s new XiRang metaverse and Nvidia’s Omniverse showcase mean the tech giants aren’t ignoring this either. Nvidia created an entirely virtual version of CEO Jensen Huang to give a small part of a major speech at its conference earlier this year using its Audio2Face software first demonstrated at GTC last year as part of the Nvidia Jarvis AI. Audio2Face applies voice data to animate three-dimensional skin and muscles on a virtual face. It’s one of the hundreds of pre-trained models for Jarvis using Nvidia’s GPU technology.