A “VIRTUAL HUMAN” has been shown off at the Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED) Global conference in Oxford.
Microsoft has developed the technology, which features the “virtual human” – a boy called Milo – who interacts with other people through a screen. Milo reacts to the other person’s emotions, movements, and tone of voice.
In a demo featured on the BBC’s website, Milo interacts with a woman called Claire. As they speak, it becomes clear that Milo recognises Claire and can interpret her voice to identify what emotion she is feeling.
Peter Molyneux, Creative Director of Microsoft Game Studios in Europe, is responsible for developing the technology.
He explained that he wanted to create an interactive experience where the character someone was talking to seemed alive, “that would look (you) in the eyes and feel real”.
Milo was first unveiled at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles 2009 but has not been seen since. Molyneux said that the technology was designed to interact in such a sensitive way that people believe Milo is real.
The game is designed for use with Microsoft’s Xbox 360 motion controller, Kinect.
The TED conference is running from 13 – 16 July and features speakers and performers with “ideas worth spreading.”