An Embodied Conversational Agent for the Web

abstract | author | presentation

Talking virtual characters are graphical simulations of real or imaginary persons capable of human-like behaviour, most importantly talking and gesturing. Coupled with artificial intelligence (AI) techniques, the virtual characters are expected to represent the ultimate abstraction of a human-computer interface, the one where the computer looks, talks and acts like a human. Such an interface would include audio/video analysis and synthesis techniques combined with AI, dialogue management and a vast knowledge base in order to be able to respond quasi-intelligently to the users - by speech, gesture and even mood. While this goal lies further on in the future, we present an architecture that reaches towards it, at the same time aiming for a possibility of practical applications in nearer future. Our architecture is aimed specifically at the Web. It involves a talking virtual character capable of involvement in a fairly meaningful conversation with the user who types in the input.

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