Mai: Mindlabs Artificial Intelligence

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Starting Date – October 6, 2023


The objective was to create a video clip of 60-90 seconds in which Mai was presented during the opening of MindLabs building.
Mai had to convey MindLabs message: “Helping to address societal challenges using human-centered AI and technology and connecting researchers, developers, students, entrepreneurs, social institutions, and governments for this purpose.”  


On September 27th 2023, the Grand Opening of the MindLabs building took place. The opening event highlighted the building and its objective, which is to stimulate and facilitate collaboration among all MindLabs partners in innovation. The target audience for the opening event included all MindLabs partners, which encompassed the four knowledge institutions, 30 business partners, representatives from government bodies, and the relevant professional network. In total, 330 guests received the “Save the Date” invitation.


The purpose of the MindLabs Grand Opening was to convey what MindLabs stands for: “helping to address societal challenges using human-centered AI and technology.” MindLabs connects researchers, developers, students, entrepreneurs, social institutions, and governments for this purpose.

A central element of the opening event was the introduction of Mai (MindLabs Artificial Intelligence), the virtual influencer/host of MindLabs. MindLabs had enlisted Breda University of Applied Sciences (BUas) to develop MAI.


The objective was to create a 60-90 second video clip introducing Mai during the opening of MindLabs. Mai was supposed to convey what MindLabs was and demonstrate why virtual humans were one of the iconic projects of MindLabs. The following development goals  were taken into consideration:


  • A full-body 3D avatar of Mai. Mai had to move realistically, spoke naturally, smile, had expressive facial features, and serve as the future foundation for MindLabs to work towards an interactive Mai .
  • The specifics of Mai’s appearance were determined through collaboration with MindLabs, including features such as the face, hair, clothing, body, voice, and character traits. MindLabs preferred a realistic visual with a touch of cartoony animations.
  • Mai had to engage in a humorous conversation during the opening with the evening’s host, comedian Lieven Scheire. MindLabs and Lieven prepared this interaction to ensure it flowed naturally. BUas handled the development of the interaction from Mai.
  • MindLabs wished to create a video in which Mai, as an avatar, was seen in the “real building” of MindLabs to demonstrate the capability of projecting an avatar into the real world. 

The team started with a “pre-vis” or “previsualization” to visualize the project before the actual production begins. The goal of previsualization is to help in the planning and decision-making stages by creating a rough, preliminary version of the final product.  

Screenshot of a frame in the previs

The same frame in the final product


Here are a few photos from Mai’s presentation at the MindLabs Grand Opening, which received a warm welcome from the community.

Behind the scenes

The making of Mai: Her profile

The making of MAI: Technical development

The making of MAI: Her future


Project Manager

Joey Relouw

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