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Digital Doppelgangers: Building an Army of You

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Matrix twins

Matrix twins


U.S. National Science Foundation researchers have developed a smart, animated, digital double that can interact with other people via a screen when the user is not present.

These autonomous identities are not duplicates of human beings, but rather simple and potentially useful personas that could take on difficult tasks, and perhaps even modify people's behavior. The digital double is one of several new autonomous avatar technologies that are currently being developed. For example, the Web site enables users to create a social media self, which can take over Facebook and Twitter accounts when required.

Meanwhile, MyCyberTwin enables users to create copies of themselves that can engage visitors in a text conversation, accompanied by a photo or cartoon representation. Northeastern University researchers are developing animated avatars of doctors and other health-care providers, because tests show that 70 percent of patients prefer talking to a virtual version of a nurse instead of a real one. However, some avatars may take longer to train than others depending on the sophistication of the task. One way to shortcut this process is to give an avatar specific behaviors adapted for a specific purpose, says Stanford University's Jeremy Bailenson.

From New Scientist
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Abstracts Copyright © 2012 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA 


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