Digital human-as-a-service (DHaaS) refers to an artificial intelligence (AI) tech interface that looks, sounds, and behaves like real-life humans. The digital humans that DHaaS produces recognize and mimic human verbal and nonverbal cues, facial expressions, and tone of voice.

Digital humans can also converse with people naturally, answer questions, and gain realistic personal experiences that affect how they see the world. They typically look like avatars or AI-powered virtual persons that respond in real-time. Apart from replying and reacting to their environment, they also share knowledge and information.

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DHaaS and the digital humans it produces have made it easier for retailers and other companies to do business, particularly in terms of engagement and customer service.

How Does Digital Human-as-a-Service Work?

DHaaS relies on natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML), apart from AI-to-human interactions, to provide experiences that are as human-like as possible.

DHaaS software developers utilize cloud-based, intelligent, three-dimensional (3D) avatars to serve as instant brand ambassadors. They also typically help clients acquire compatible solutions to handle customer service inquiries, coaching, and branding. And as with all as-a-service offerings, DHaaS providers rent out their digital humans to their customers who pay on a subscription or pay-per-use basis.

The digital humans DHaaS creates can communicate like real people. They have natural human expressions and give personalized responses. Their basis? Where specific customers are in the buyer’s journey.

DHaaS users can host their digital humans through cloud software or rely on their on-premises technological capabilities.

What Are the Benefits of Digital Human-as-a-Service?

DHaaS provides users with the following benefits:

  • 24 x 7 x 365 availability: Unlike human personnel, digital humans don’t require rest. They can work tirelessly 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, without even needing breaks (e.g., lunch, coffee, or bathroom).
  • Empathy: Unlike chatbots, talking to digital humans is like talking to a real, live person who can read your facial expressions and tone of voice and react accordingly. They aren’t fed a limited number of responses to predetermined customer questions like chatbots, making conversations more personalized.
  • Consistency: Everyone who talks to a digital human gets the same experience. They get the same responses but in a way that fits their expectations.
  • Fast service: Like chatbots, digital humans can handle more than one customer at a time, so they don’t have to wait for someone to pick up the phone.

Are Digital Human-as-a-Service Offerings Now Available?

Yes, they are. Spearheaded by Japanese company KDDI in partnership with Mawari, whose digital humans can be integrated into AWS Wavelength, several companies like Trulience in the U.K.; UneeQ in Australia, New Zealand, and North America; IBM’s Soul Machines in the U.S.; and Inteso Cloud in New Zealand already provide DHaaS.

What Kinds of Digital Humans Come with Digital Human-as-a-Service Offerings?

DHaaS providers can craft digital humans to serve as a business’s:

  • Customer assistants
  • Sales concierges
  • Financial advisors
  • Healthcare coaches
  • Digital influencers
  • Digital baristas

They usually have pre-made digital humans clients can choose from, but companies can use the face, voice, and expressions of their executives or other employees (e.g., the human resources [HR] department head, an engineer, etc.) to make experiences more realistic.

Is Using Digital Human-as-a-Service Expensive?

Just because DHaaS uses advanced technologies like AI, NLP, and ML doesn’t mean it’s costly. In fact, it only costs US$1.12–7.296 per hour.

What Do Digital Humans Look Like?

Digital humans look like the characters in your favorite 3D games. Here is an example.

Inteso Cloud’s Tess


In most cases, though, users prefer to build their own digital humans modeled from people from their organization.

As more companies go digital, DHaaS may become necessary for a business to provide the best customer service and assistance possible.

Key Takeaways

  • DHaaS is an AI tech interface that looks, sounds, and behaves like humans.
  • Digital humans recognize and mimic human verbal and nonverbal cues, facial expressions, and tone of voice. Talking to them is just like talking to a friend.
  • DHaaS can provide 24 x 7 x 365 service availability, empathy, consistency, and fast service.
  • Japanese tech companies KDDI and Mawari are considered the pioneers in DHaaS.
  • The growing list of DHaaS providers includes Trulience, UneeQ, IBM’s Soul Machines, and Inteso Cloud.
  • Digital humans can serve as a company’s customer assistants, sales concierges, financial advisors, healthcare coaches, digital influencers, virtual baristas, and more. Depending on your goals, they can even be customized in terms of appearance and functionality. You can model them after your CEO or a star employee.
  • Using DHaaS only costs US$1.12–7.296 per hour.