Avatars will help us navigate tomorrow's electronic maze

March 18 2008 / by futuretalk / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Communication   Year: General   Rating: 19 Hot

By Dick Pelletier

Say goodbye to TV remote controls and the computer mouse and keyboard. By as early as 2010 to 2015, a computerized image of your choice displayed on wall-size screens throughout the house will be available to hear your commands and speak to you in perfect human voice.

Selecting TV programs will be easy. Turn on any display screen in the house and your personal avatar appears. “Hi Dick, what can I do for you?” “I want to see Sunday’s ‘Desperate Housewives’.” “Here it is Dick, and I won’t reveal the ending, enjoy.”

Avatars will also interface with PCs, which will signal the end for most of our mouse-clicking and typing. Simply say, “Computer, display last night’s email; good, reply to my sister, tell her Friday’s OK; and invite the family to my house next Saturday for dinner; now ring David in Japan on Skype.”

Most people think that interactive systems like this are a long ways off, but two trends are quickening the pace. Improved speech-recognition and interactive voice-response systems now mimic normal-spoken language more accurately – and today’s computer graphics can create 3-D avatars with an uncanny “real” look.

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Avatars and AI

May 29 2008 / by randalc / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Culture   Year: 2010   Rating: 10 Hot

Recently Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute created an artificial intelligence program to run within the platform of Second Life. The researchers are studying the interactions that occur with real people through their avatars. The RPI students created the program to maneuver the avatar and understand some fairly straight forward questions, asked in English.

Operators of Second Life don’t seem concerned about synthetic agents lurking in their world. John Lester, Boston operations manager for Linden Lab, said the San Francisco-based company sees a fascinating opportunity for AI to evolve. “I think the real future for this is when people take these AI-controlled avatars and let them free in ‘Second Life,’” Lester said, ” ... let them randomly walk the grid.”

With AI characters within a grid of tens of thousands of active users the social experimentation is nearly limitless. Social scientists can examine certain behaviors and even provoke them through the AI interface. Most interesting is if the AI can recognize and then smoothly translate languages the program could create cultural bridges and even examine cultural behavior proclivities.

Are We Destined to Merge With Our Avatars?

June 10 2009 / by Alvis Brigis / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Technology   Year: General   Rating: 2

face_product_300.jpgFuturist Thomas Frey of the DaVinci Institute has posted a thought-provoking avatar roadmap detailing an increasingly critical and symbiotic relationship between man and this progeny of ours.  Frey argues that this increasing reliance on avatar extensions will change our fundamental values, eventually leading to a great blur of humans and avatars.

Frey: With each generation of avatar, they will become more life-like, growing in realism, pressing the limits of autonomy as we become more and more reliant on them for experiencing the world. The avatar will become an extension of ourselves. The pain that we feel is the same pain that they feel, and vice versa. Like symbiotic twins separated only by a dimension or two, we are destined to become one with our avatars.

Is that a fair frame and likely prediction, or are we already indistinguishable from our technology and environment?  Are we destined to merge with our avatars?  Are we already avatars generated by Gaiia or the Great Simulator(s)?

Are we destined to merge with our avatars?

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