Accession Number:

ADA459229

Title:

Toward a New Generation of Virtual Humans for Interactive Experiences

Descriptive Note:

Journal article

Corporate Author:

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA MARINA DEL REY INFORMATION SCIENCES INST

Report Date:

2002-01-01

Pagination or Media Count:

8.0

Abstract:

Interactive virtual worlds provide a powerful medium for entertainment and experiential learning. Army lieutenants can gain valuable experience in decision-making in scenarios like the example above. Others can use the same technology for entertaining role-playing even if they never have to face such situations in real life. Similarly, students can learn about, say, ancient Greece by walking through its virtual streets, visiting its buildings, and interacting with its people. Scientists and science fiction fans alike can experience life in a colony on Mars long before the required infrastructure is in place. The range of worlds that people can explore and experience with virtual-world technology is unlimited, ranging from factual to fantasy and set in the past, present, or future. Our goal is to enrich such worlds with virtual humans autonomous agents that support face-to-face interaction with people in these environments in a variety of roles, such as the sergeant, medic, or even distraught mother. Existing virtual worlds, such as military simulations and computer games, often incorporate virtual humans with varying degrees of intelligence. However, these characters ability to interact with human users is usually very limited Typically, users can shoot at them and they can shoot back. Those characters that support more collegial interactions, such as in childrens educational software, are usually very scripted and offer human users no ability to carry on a dialogue. In contrast, we envision virtual humans that cohabit virtual worlds with people and support face-to-face dialogues situated in those worlds, serving as guides, mentors, and teammates. Although our goals are ambitious, we argue here that many key building blocks are already in place.

Subject Categories:

  • Computer Programming and Software
  • Psychology
  • Anatomy and Physiology

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE