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Alumni Stories

The voice of the metaverse: UC alumna launches ambitious AI start-up

Just four years after receiving her doctorate degree from the University of Canberra, AI scientist Dr Jyoti Joshi co-founded the ground-breaking tech start-up, Kroop AI (Artificial Intelligence).

Kroop AI’s sophisticated audio-visual deep learning-based platform The Artiste AI generates high quality videos featuring digital avatars created from just audio or text input, providing users with a simple yet powerful platform for creating digital human-based talking videos in multiple languages.

As Jyoti explains, Kroop AI aims to become the “voice of the metaverse.”

“When we came across former US President Barack Obama's synthetic video, we realised there was a large market opportunity. Jyoti says.

“Based on our experience in computer vision and machine learning we worked on data generation and detection. We are creating an ethical audio-visual synthetic data generation platform for B2B use cases.”

And so, the Artiste AI Studio was born. A cloud based easy-to-website based editor containing a library of digital avatars so realistic-looking, you might mistake it for an actor, that can be programmed to say exactly what you need it to.

The other dimension to Kroop AI is its ability to detect harmful deepfakes.

“With enhanced tech capabilities, there also comes greater responsibility. Through its VizMantiz API, our platform enables organisations to detect unethically-generated synthetic media to prevent misuse,” Jyoti explains.

Jyoti arrived in Canberra in 2010 and started a teaching and research assistant position at the University of Canberra, working with Professor Roland Goecke. Inspired by her work there, she later applied for a PhD position, with Professor Goecke as a supervisor.

“In training under Professor Goecke, I learnt that methodological research, along with persistence, was the key to crack research problems. I also learnt AI problem-solving, which came in handy when I started Kroop AI,” Jyoti says.

Under Professor Goecke’s guidance, Jyoti developed her knowledge and capabilities, and the opportunities provided by UC allowed her to grow as a budding scientist.

“The networks I established during my graduate studies at UC also helped. I travelled to the University of Pittsburgh and Queen Mary University of London, supported by Professor Goecke, and that exposure to different research environments really enhanced the overall experience during my PhD,” Jyoti says.

Although Jyoti’s career shot to exponential heights just a few years after the completion of her doctorate, her path hasn’t been free of challenges; Jyoti worked extremely hard to bring her vision to life and establish herself in a predominately male-dominated industry.

“I think my journey has been no different from any working mother. There is always a struggle with little kids. For me, planning in advance and clear communication with teammates helped,” Jyoti says.

“Persistence is key. There may be times when the wind may seem to blow against you, but everything is temporary. And in all the hustle, don't forget to take good care of yourself!”

Before moving to Australia, Jyoshi was employed at Cadence Design Systems in India, where she was lucky to work in an established and supportive organisation culture. So, when she began studying at UC, she had the confidence and leadership to support and connect the other female students in her faculty.

Jyoti started a Girl Geek Club to provide networking and support for women pursuing careers in STEM – an initiative widely supported by students and faculty members.

“I believe raising our voice when we need improvements around us is the most critical aspect to begin making change,” Jyoti says.

In what was certainly a memorable career highlight, this past week, Jyoti represented India at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival.

India has been named the first 'Country of Honour' at Marche du Film de Cannes, which runs parallel to the Festival. As part of the delegation, five start-ups were chosen to represent the content generation work in the country.

“Kroop AI was chosen due to its innovative use of Artificial Intelligence for audio and visual data generation both for real-world data and the metaverse,” Jyoti says.

“It is a privilege to represent my country at such a prestigious international event.”

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