Altera Raises $11.1M for AI Digital Humans

Altera Raises $11.1M for AI Digital Humans

Giovanna Bianchi
3 min read

Altera Raises $11.1 Million to Develop AI Technology for Digital Humans

Altera, just five months into its operations, has secured an impressive $11.1 million in funding to further its efforts in creating AI technology capable of producing digital humans with human-like behavior. Notable investors in this round include Patron, First Spark Ventures, A16z Speedrun, Mitch Lasky, and Stephen Lim. The company, led by former MIT neuroscience professor Robert Yang, aims to bridge the gap between artificial intelligence and human interaction, ultimately creating digital beings with empathy, friendship, and fun.

This venture holds promise as Altera's AI agent has already displayed its potential by engaging in activities such as playing Minecraft with human players and achieving Nvidia Research Lab benchmarks. The implications of Altera's work stretch far beyond gaming, as it stands to significantly impact various industries by introducing AI companions with essential traits like empathy, embodiment, and personal goals.

Key Takeaways

  • Altera has secured $11.1 million in funding to advance AI technology for creating digital humans that exhibit human-like behavior traits.
  • The company's AI agent has already demonstrated its capabilities by successfully participating in activities like playing Minecraft and achieving Nvidia's Voyager paper benchmarks.
  • Altera's core mission is to close the gap between AI and human interaction, thereby creating digital beings with empathy and friendship.
  • The team comprises experts in computational neuroscience and AI, with CEO Robert Yang at the helm, who is a former MIT neuroscience professor.
  • The company's endeavors extend beyond gaming, striving to make a substantial impact across industries by crafting AI companions with critical attributes such as empathy, embodiment, and personal objectives.


The generous $11.1 million funding round led by Patron, First Spark Ventures, and other prominent investors signifies a burgeoning interest in human-like AI. This development holds the potential to influence technology and entertainment sectors, as well as mental health and social platforms, by offering AI companions equipped with empathy and friendship. The amalgamation of the team's proficiency in neuroscience and AI directly contributes to this momentum, while the ever-rising demand for intuitive human-machine interaction indirectly propels this trajectory.

In the short run, Altera's AI technology could revolutionize the realms of gaming and entertainment, presenting fresh experiences for users. In the long run, it holds the capacity to bring about a seismic shift in AI's role within various sectors, stretching from mental well-being to customer service. Nevertheless, the introduction of autonomous decision-makers could prompt ethical contemplations and potential job displacement.

Entities such as A16z Speedrun, Mitch Lasky, and Nvidia might also feel the reverberations as Altera's technology emerges as either a competitor or collaborator. Nations investing in AI development stand to gain economically, while those lacking in suitable infrastructure might face quandaries.

Did You Know?

  • Digital humans with human-like behavior: This pertains to AI-fueled entities capable of emulating human behavior and interactions realistically. Altera's technology endeavors to fabricate digital humans endowed with advanced emotional intelligence, enabling them to exhibit empathy, friendship, and amusement. This transcends mundane chatbot interactions, positioning digital humans to potentially comprehend context, respond fittingly, and even foster relationships with users.
  • Nvidia Research Lab benchmarks: Nvidia, a leading technology firm in graphics processing, has been actively engaged in AI research. The "Voyager paper benchmarks" alluded to likely denote performance benchmarks set by Nvidia's research team for AI agents across various tasks. Altera's AI agent successfully meeting these benchmarks indicates its prowess in AI decision-making and understanding multifaceted environments, such as partaking in Minecraft.
  • Computational neuroscience: This interdisciplinary domain merges computer science, mathematics, psychology, and neuroscience to comprehend, model, and simulate brain functions. Altera's cadre of experts leverages this knowledge to design AI systems better equipped to comprehend and engage with humans, ultimately crafting AI companions infused with pivotal traits like empathy, embodiment, and personal goals.

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