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RAVATAR: The Limassol-based company specialising in AI avatars and beyond

“We aim to become a leading company in the field of AI avatars, recognised for pioneering sophisticated, ethically responsible, and reliably secure AI solutions,” the CEO of Limassol-based RAVATAR Ruslan Synytsky says.

RAVATAR recently captured the imagination of local stakeholders by making it possible for the Deputy Minister of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy Nicodemos Damianou to deliver his keynote address at an event in Nicosia, in real-time from Athens as a live hologram.

Soon after speaking to CBN, Syntsky, among other things, talked about the company’s positive experience of doing business in Cyprus, where the company also has a series of ongoing projects with the Research and Innovation Foundation (RIF).

Originally from Ukraine, Syntsky shared his views on the impact of AI and new trends to keep an eye on, and provided more details about the company's current products and services and ambitious plans for the future.

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Can you tell us more about why your company chose to establish a presence in Cyprus and how your experience of doing business here has been so far?

Founding our company in Cyprus has been incredibly fruitful for several reasons. First, its strategic location at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa offers a unique advantage for international business operations, making it easier to access multiple markets. Cyprus also provides a favorable business environment with a skilled workforce, competitive corporate tax rates, and robust legal and regulatory frameworks that align with EU standards, crucial for stability and growth.

On the lifestyle side, Cyprus offers an excellent quality of life, which is a major advantage for attracting and retaining top talent. The island's safety, fantastic climate, and vibrant culture make it an ideal place for our employees to live and work.

Our experience here has far exceeded our expectations. The local business climate is not just welcoming but also invigorating. Both the government and the community have shown genuine enthusiasm for our projects, which has significantly facilitated our integration and operations here. We've managed to collaborate with local talents and institutions, enhancing our growth and enabling us to contribute significantly to the local economy.

In summary, establishing our company in Cyprus was a strategic decision that has propelled us forward, not only in terms of business success but also in our contributions to innovation and technology on the island and globally.

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Can you also tell us about your new project with the Research and Innovation Foundation (RIF)?

Absolutely, I'm thrilled to share details about our ongoing projects with the Research and Innovation Foundation (RIF). This partnership truly reflects our shared drive to innovate and integrate AI technology into the fabric of society — a goal that holds tremendous potential.

To date, we’ve launched two exciting AI initiatives in partnership with the Foundation. First is the AI Avatar that serves as an AI Brand Ambassador. This is a real-time interactive holographic 3D representation of Theodoros Loukaidis, RIF's visionary Director General. This project is not just about technological sophistication — it’s about making RIF’s initiatives more relatable and engaging. This enables a broader outreach while enhancing how the RIF’s impact is communicated at public events and gatherings.

Our second project is the AI Assistant Chatbot named Diana, integrated directly into the RIF website. Diana is all about enhancing the user experience, providing round-the-clock support and making it easier for visitors to navigate through the wealth of information about RIF's programs and opportunities. This tool is essential for startups, investors, and researchers seeking timely and accurate information.

These initiatives are just the beginning. Our partnership with RIF is vibrant and constantly evolving, pushing us to explore new AI applications continuously. It's a collaboration that not only propels both our organisations forward but also makes a significant impact on the technological and scientific community in Cyprus. Looking ahead, we are jointly envisioning new projects that will further embed AI across critical sectors, reinforcing our commitment to the region's growth and global competitiveness.

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What do you consider as your most significant achievement or a milestone that stands out to you?

As one of our most recent achievements, I can highlight the success we had at the 3rd CITEA Digital Cyprus Conference this year, where we showcased something truly groundbreaking — holoportation technology. This is a form of 3D capture technology that allows high-quality 3D models of people to be reconstructed, compressed, and transmitted anywhere in real-time. So, for example, you could be in New York and appear as a lifelike hologram on a stage in Tokyo, interacting with the audience as if you were physically there.

At the conference, we enabled Dr. Nicodemos Damianou, the Deputy Minister of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy of Cyprus, to deliver his keynote address in real-time from Athens as a live hologram. The hologram was so realistic and precise that attendees felt as though Dr. Damianou was physically present right there in Nicosia with us. Of course, it wasn’t just about the visual fidelity, impressive on its own, but the way it seamlessly bridged the gap between continents without a hitch, defying the physical constraints of distance and time.

Nicodemos Damianou hologram

Deputy Minister Damianou was able to deliver his speech from Athens

This demonstration of holoportation at the conference was much more than just a display of our technological capability - it was a vivid illustration of how technology can bring us closer together, even when we're oceans apart, pushing forward the conversation about how we interact and connect in our increasingly digital world. For me, it stands out not only as a major advancement but as a stepping stone towards more innovative applications that can transform the way we conduct meetings, attend events, and share moments across distances.

Your company has a range of AI-centred products and services tailored to various sectors. Can you tell us a bit about each of them and how clients can benefit from using them?"

We are developing a turnkey Interactive AI Avatar Platform that encompasses a broad array of AI services and solutions. Taking the central stage are interactive, real-time conversational 3D AI avatars — intelligent, humanlike digital entities that can be employed in almost every sphere and aspect of our everyday lives, much like real humans.

Our avatars can be implemented in virtually any format, whether as an online service or a physical installation, and are adaptable to diverse platforms such as web, mobile, info-kiosks, and even holographic displays. Whether serving as basic chatbots for text and audio communication or equipped with a stunningly lifelike 3D visual envelope, these digital assistants are designed to seamlessly handle real-time dialogues and orchestrate complex interactions tailored to individual user needs. By leveraging advanced AI, our avatars can analyse user input, assess emotional cues, and respond appropriately, thereby enhancing the user experience across all touchpoints.

The variety of services integrated into our platform enables our customers to customise their AI-driven solutions in nearly every aspect - from the avatar's visual appearance, attire, and voice to the incorporated knowledge base, communication style, and behavior patterns. This versatility makes our avatars ideal for a wide range of applications, including customer service, personalised education, interactive marketing, and even healthcare.

In general, we offer four distinct types of interactive, real-time 3D AI avatar solutions, each specialised to fulfill unique roles across various industry sectors:

AI Agent: These avatars excel in customer service, delivering efficient, personalised support across diverse sectors such as retail, banking, hospitality, and healthcare. They handle inquiries, process transactions, and provide real-time guidance, elevating customer satisfaction and operational efficiency.

AI Assistant: Designed to streamline administrative tasks, these avatars boost productivity in corporate settings. They manage scheduling, data entry, and other routine activities, allowing human employees to focus on more strategic initiatives and high-value tasks.

AI Influencer: Leveraged in marketing, these avatars engage with audiences on social media, creating dynamic and interactive content that amplifies brand awareness. They can conduct live Q&A sessions, endorse products, and drive interaction, offering a novel approach to digital advertising.

AI Companion: Offering personalised interaction and support, these avatars improve user engagement and satisfaction in various contexts, including physical and mental health guidance, education, digital resurrection, and elder care. They provide companionship, tailored advice, and interactive experiences, fostering deeper connections with users.

What’s more, our AI-powered solutions are versatile enough to be deployed on any infrastructure, whether on-premise (directly on a client's hardware) or across any cloud platform. The on-premise option ensures enhanced data protection, safety, and full control over the solution. On the other hand, cloud deployment provides exceptional flexibility and scalability. Together, the availability of diverse deployment methods allows organisations to tailor solutions to perfectly align with their specific security, compliance, and operational needs.

Another key feature of our solutions worth noting is their full compatibility with hologram projection devices, which paves the way for a groundbreaking niche in the realm of virtual assistants and digital humans - intelligent holographic 3D AI avatars. This technology unlocks limitless possibilities for enhancing the realism of digital interactions, pushing the boundaries of traditional human-machine interaction even further.

Holographic AI avatars have found numerous applications in remote communication, brand promotion, advertising, customer service, among others. Transmitted through holoboxes — special cutting-edge devices designed for holographic projection — these avatars do not require special glasses or any additional equipment for users to view and interact with a hologram. This solution is rapidly gaining popularity due to the holoboxes' portability and ease of installation and maintenance, along with exceptional image quality and the ability to create truly immersive experiences for customers.

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Your company has also used its technology for cultural and other projects, including the protection of Ukrainian culture. What more can you tell us about this?

As someone who has been in the IT industry for many years, I've had the privilege of overseeing various innovative projects, but one particularly close to my heart involves the use of our AI technology to honor my homeland, Ukraine, especially during these challenging times. Many of our team members, including myself, are deeply connected to Ukraine and feel a strong responsibility to support our country in any way possible. Moved by this commitment, we wanted to do more than just personal contributions; we sought to leverage our technological expertise to make a meaningful impact.

The opportunity arose around the anniversary of Taras Shevchenko's birth on March 9th. Shevchenko is not only Ukraine's most celebrated poet and artist of the 19th century but also a symbol of our cultural resilience. His birthday prompts numerous commemorative events, particularly in Kyiv at the Taras Shevchenko National Museum. Recognising the significant influence we could wield, we reached out to the museum with an offer to enhance their celebrations through a unique integration of our AI technology.

This led to the creation of the Shevchenko AI, an AI influencer designed to make Shevchenko's works and spirit more accessible in today's world. It was a way to apply our tech skills to contribute to cultural preservation and education during a time when Ukraine needs it most. Our collaboration with the Taras Shevchenko National Museum has since evolved into a powerful and enduring partnership, proving that modern technology can play a significant role in supporting and promoting national heritage and unity.

So, together we implemented a multilayered social project that integrates an array of innovative components to honor this esteemed Ukrainian poet, writer, and painter:

AI Avatar: To commemorate Taras Shevchenko’s 210th anniversary, we at RAVATAR unveiled something truly special - a groundbreaking 3D real-time AI avatar. Crafted from Shevchenko’s iconic 1840 self-portrait using MetaHuman and neural network technologies, this avatar allows for real-time interaction, engaging users in educational dialogues and immersive experiences. This is the first-of-its-kind digital resurrection of Taras Shevchenko, which sets new standards in cultural preservation and engagement by bringing a pivotal piece of history into the present in a way that’s both enlightening and truly captivating for today’s youth.

AI Chatbot: Another innovative aspect of our project is the Taras Kobzar Bot (https://t.me/Taras_Kobzar_Bot) - a Telegram chatbot that creates a new dimension of ‘live’ interactions with the esteemed Ukrainian kobzar. The bot leverages a rich knowledge base encompassing Shevchenko’s life, his literary and artistic contributions, as well as Ukraine’s history and national ideals. It facilitates immersive conversations not only through text but also through voice and video formats, making each interaction not merely educational but vividly dynamic and lifelike.

AI Influencer: As the icing on the cake, we've teamed up with experts from the Taras Shevchenko National Museum to launch the Official Instagram of Taras Shevchenko AI (https://www.instagram.com/taras_kobzar_ai/). This Instagram account is a vibrant, constantly updated resource that showcases Shevchenko's quotes and masterpieces. Museum experts regularly enrich it with invaluable content, and uniquely, each post is presented as if Shevchenko himself were sharing his thoughts and works, thanks to the power of AI. It's a modern way to connect people with his legacy, making it accessible and engaging for a global audience.

In wrapping up, what we're really proud of is how we're using our technology to ensure that Shevchenko's legacy not only resonates with but also inspires the tech-savvy youth of today. By bringing this iconic Ukrainian poet and artist into the digital age through AI avatars and interactive platforms, we're reaching global audiences in ways that truly fit the modern digital era. This approach isn't just about preservation; it's about making Ukraine's rich traditions lively and relevant now. We believe that by enabling worldwide engagement with our culture, we’re enhancing its understanding and appreciation on a global scale. Looking ahead, we're excited to push these initiatives even further, continuing to innovate at the intersection of technology and cultural heritage.

Even a quick visit to your company’s website indicates how lifelike AI avatars can be. More widely, what do you consider to be some of the other main benefits of AI solutions over the more traditional approaches we have had towards customer service etc. until now?

Well, first off, our AI avatars really change the game by simulating real-time conversations with users. What sets our digital solutions apart is that they go way beyond the typical, scripted responses you see with most virtual assistants - they can handle complex questions on the fly, customising responses to fit the specific needs of each user.

Also, there’s a form of emotional intelligence at work with our AI avatars. They don’t just listen to the words being said; they also pick up on how something is said — the tone of voice, subtle gestures, and other emotional cues. And vice versa, when responding, they mimic human expressions and body language with remarkable precision. This really adds to the lifelike feeling, making it seem like you’re chatting with an actual person, which makes interactions feel much more natural and responsive.

And let’s not overlook the incredible data-processing power of these avatars. Whether they’re deployed in healthcare, hospitality, banking, customer service, or any other sector, they can sift through massive amounts of data instantly. They integrate information from diverse sources in real-time, delivering exactly what's needed for each situation, customised to the specific interaction. What's more, our avatars are highly adaptive, adjusting their behavior based on user feedback, which enables them to function effectively in a wide array of environments.

To sum it up, it’s no wonder these AI-driven entities are often referred to as 'digital humans.' Every technological advancement we pursue is aimed at making these digital interactions as natural as conversations with real humans while harnessing the efficiency that only technology can provide.

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What’s next for Ravatar?

In general, our long-term ambition is to establish RAVATAR as a 'unicorn' — a startup valued at over US$1 billion that remains privately owned and is not listed on any share market. We aim to become a leading company in the field of AI avatars, recognised for pioneering sophisticated, ethically responsible, and reliably secure AI solutions.

Also, we are committed to broadening our reach within the tech community by forging strategic partnerships and engaging in collaborative projects with industry leaders. We believe that this will enrich our collective knowledge and drive innovation that benefits the wider community, contributing to the broader development of global markets and asserting a positive influence in the field of AI technology.

If speaking about the progress and future enhancements for our AI Avatar solutions, our upcoming goals focus on the following key technology advancements:

Enhanced Lifelike Visualisation and Detailing: We aim to render even more realistic and detailed visualisations to provide sharper, lifelike images.

● Increased Response Speed: Future updates will focus on optimising the system's architecture to enable quicker responses, ensuring more efficient interactions and enhancing the avatars’ productivity.

Expanded Range of Stock AI Avatars: We plan to broaden our collection of ready-to-use AI avatars, offering users a wider variety of choices that cater to diverse industries, preferences, and requirements.

Extended Language Support: We are continuously expanding the number of languages supported by our platform to make our services more accessible globally and facilitate inclusive international interactions.

AI has captured the wider public’s imagination in recent years but there have also been some concerns. In your experience, are businesses today more receptive to the idea of AI’s benefits and potential than they have been in the past?

Absolutely, the landscape around AI has dramatically shifted over recent years. It's true that AI has not only captured the public's imagination but also brought forward some concerns, which is a natural progression whenever transformative technologies start to penetrate deeper into our daily lives. In my experience, businesses today are increasingly recognising the profound benefits and potential that AI brings. This wasn't always the case.

A few years back, there was considerable skepticism — concerns about feasibility, ethics, and even the potential for job displacement were prevalent. Today, however, I see a marked change in perception. Companies are not just more open to exploring how AI can benefit them; they are actively seeking ways to integrate AI into their operations to enhance efficiency, decision-making, and customer experiences. There's a growing appreciation that AI isn't just a tool for automating routine tasks but a strategic asset that can drive innovation and competitive advantage.

At RAVATAR, we've seen this shift firsthand. Our clients are not only receptive but eager to see how our AI avatars can transform their interactions with customers, offering personalised and engaging experiences that were not possible before. It's an exciting time to be in AI, and I believe the best is yet to come as more businesses realise the value and transformative potential of these technologies.

Also, what are some of the emerging trends in the sector you believe will have the most impact over the coming years?

There are several fascinating trends emerging in the AI sector that we’re really excited about, particularly in the realms of Adaptive AI and Artificial General Intelligence, or AGI. We see immense potential in these advancements to not just improve, but transform the flexibility and cognitive powers of AI systems. It's about pushing the limits of what AI can do, and this is where we are heading.

At RAVATAR, we're particularly keen on integrating these technologies into our AI avatars to make them even more responsive and versatile. Our goal is to ensure that these sophisticated capabilities are not just cutting-edge but also secure and reliable for our customers. This is crucial because, as these technologies evolve, so do the responsibilities to maintain privacy and comply with stringent data protection standards.

In the coming years, I believe that Adaptive AI and AGI will significantly impact various industries by providing systems that can think, learn, and adapt in complex environments. This means smarter, more efficient, and highly personalised AI-driven solutions. For us, it’s about staying at the forefront of these developments and ensuring our avatars continue to set industry standards in innovation, trust, and user engagement.

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