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The 10 Hottest AI Startups Of 2021 (So Far)

Aisera, the producer of conversational AI and RPA tools. Eightfold.AI, which offers a way to manage the talent and skills of employees. And Soul Machines, creator of lifelike digital avatars. See who else made CRN’s annual list of the hottest AI startups of 2021 so far.

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Soul Machines

Top Executive: Mark Sagar, CEO and co-founder

Headquarters: San Francisco

Soul Machines uses AI to create digital people for customer brand experiences. Its digital avatars process information, show emotion and maintain eye contact during conversations, according to the company’s website.

Virtual shopping assistants in an online store, online bankers and online health care assistants are some of the example use cases.

In May, the company announced Human OS 2.0, a new version of its AI platform, which enhances the digital avatars’ interaction ability. The lifelike avatars gained more body animation from the waist up, with hands that can gesture and interact with on-screen content, according to a statement from the time. The new features do not need pre-recording, scripts or puppeteering.

Soul Machines’ partners include Procter and Gamble, NBA player Carmelo Anthony and the World Health Organization.

The company was founded in 2016 and has raised a total of $65 million to date, according to Crunchbase.

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