Researchers from the Universities of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies are leading the way in the creation of virtual humans – the results of which could help those in need.
Blinking naturally and shuffling slightly in her chair, Ellie the virtual human starts her dialogue by introducing herself and pointing out that she is not a therapist, but would like to learn more about real people.
The way she speaks and reacts to people is determined by the tone of voice, facial expressions and body language of the person talking. All of these details are picked up by a simple gaming sensor and webcam. Researcher Dr Louis-Philippe Morency describes this as ‘Wizard of Oz mode’.
Ellie is currently controlled by a team of two while data is gathered and analysed...