One of RAGE partners, Dr. Zerrin Yumak, Assistant Professor of the Department of Information and Computing Sciences at Utrecht University, recently participated at the Utrecht University Breaking Science pitch event, the annual science communication competition for young Utrecht researchers.

Zerrin Yumak pitched about human-virtual human social interaction. Virtual characters and robots provide a natural way of interaction between people and computers for better training and effective healthcare. A virtual companion can help a person practice for a job interview or another situation by analyzing the person’s behavior and giving feedback. In order to do this, the virtual character must behave in a believable manner using natural ways of communication such as speech, gaze and gestures.

Social and emotional expressive capabilities are given to virtual characters and social robots  by observing and analyzing human behavior. Machines can learn to establish social and emotional relationships. There are also theoretical and ethical questions that arise when we consider the idea of having machines with human level intelligence.

Examples of the results of this work can be found in RAGE components such as Behaviour Mark-up Language (BML) Realizer: and LipSync Generator

You can watch the video here:

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