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Maker of dreams and artificial humans: Meet Pranav Mistry, the brain behind new Neon project

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Ethelyn Bryehttp://cyanosaur.com
Ethelyn Brye is an award-winning author and blogger. Growing up in Switzerland and influenced by renowned Swiss design and a lot of fresh mountain air, she attended and completed design studies in Geneva. Post graduation she moved to Washington State to work for a design firm, but her love of writing brought her to Cyanosaur. She's highly interested in strategy rpgs, mountain climbing, board games with friends and skiing. She lives in Seattle, Washington, with her lovely cat Armstrong.

Written by Nandagopal Rajan | Las Vegas | Updated: January 13, 2020 11:30:08 am Pranav Mistry, president and CEO of Star Labs, at the Las Vegas Convention Centre. (Express photo/Nandagopal Rajan)The NEON stall at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was an anomaly — it had no products to show, just some large screens with human-looking characters going about some pre-programmed functions. Yet, it was one of the biggest crowdpullers at the Las Vegas Convention Centre — hundreds streaming in for a glimpse of the world’s first artificial humans. Three days after he first showcased his creations to the world, the brain behind the NEONs — NEO (new) + humaN — still seemed nervous before his daily live demonstration. In the front row were the parents of Pranav Mistry, president and CEO of Star Labs, the independent unit of Samsung that is behind the latest creation. The boy from Palanpur in Gujarat is no stranger to the limelight, having taken the stage at many Samsung keynote events showcasing products he has created for the Korean giant. (Express photo/Nandagopal Rajan)“As I grew up in India, in a small village, I always used to ask: can we make technology more human?” Mistry started his session, with a white neon sign above saying NEON, and flanked by screens showing his creations. The boy from Palanpur in Gujarat is no stranger to the limelight, having taken the stage at many Samsung keynote events showcasing products he has created for the Korean giant. But this time it was different. There was no Samsung logo behind for reassurance: the Star Labs president was on his own. And that seemed to be the freedom that Samsung has given the IIT-Kharagpur graduate who joined the company as director of research in 2012. Mistry was known as the person behind the UI and UX that millions of Samsung consumers used daily. NEON is not much different — it is almost like a human interface to make technology more human, as he has always wanted to. Star Labs CEO Pranav Mistry with his parents in Las Vegas before his presentation. (Express photo/Nandagopal Rajan)“There is AR, VR, and many other new technologies. But all these are not making technology easier for people… all these are just new ways to connect to the same data,” Mistry told The Sunday Express. But all this new technology, he said, was just making us more and more “disconnected”. “Technology should be that much human… My work has always been about how machines can become more and more like us, rather than we becoming more like machines.” A human interface, he said, will help us all know more about each other. So NEONs are not like virtual assistants that plug into the Internet and are ready to answer queries or play a song on request. They are more about shared experiences, learning skills, and gradually creating memories. NEONs are powered by a proprietory technology called CORE R3 — “reality, real time, and responsiveness”But that layer is
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