Virtual Humans (Embodied Conversational Agents) – Computerphile

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Taking chatbots to the next level, with emotion recognition and gesture control. Dr Michel Valstar on Virtual Humans.


This video was filmed and edited by Sean Riley.

Computer Science at the University of Nottingham:

Computerphile is a sister project to Brady Haran's Numberphile. More at


kenki says:

Man imagin if its an anime onichan that askes you

Morph Verse says:

Imagine school of the future in your home..

I'm not sure why people are bashing on this, this is simply about a example of speech capabilities with a virtual character in front of your screen.
Not about fancy visual appealing looking avatars to give you answers, this is all research..

Malcolm Parsons says:

"everyday" means ordinary. "every day" means each day.


Bad animation, bad ia for 2019. But keep working we need you guys to innovate ! You gonna need to use things like the tech disney develloped wich allows to turn random videos into moving animations.

Menachem Salomon says:

That's pretty neat. Heinlein thought Mike producing Adam Selene would be an amazing innovation in 2076, and we might be beating it, at least visually, by half a century.

mistercohaagen says:

So this is what Social Services for people with low IQ will look like. This is the most bizarre and masturbatory eugenics program I've ever seen.

Plague says:

Isn't this just a chatbot with camera and bad avatar?

francis chow says:

Waifu doll tech is proceeding nicely :3

ArachnoHack says:

Omg they built a robot Cathy Newman!!! We r fkd… robot voice _ so what you're saying is so what you're saying is so what you're saying is so what you're saying is – malfunction malfunction malfunction – so what you're saying is… Destroy the patriarch destroy the patriarch

Krzysztof Kwietniewski says:

Braking animation when disturbed is not a challenge. We have this mechanism in games for years now. Every time character changes movement direction, animation is gracefully transformed into another.

Darek Tidwell says:

need some blender on your team

matt byrne says:

this is some cutting edge technology for 1995

Wenna Rhys says:

"I've detected you are 17% female. Would you like me to help you with that?"

3ICE says:

So many upvoted haters… I disagree with them all. This demo is a great tool for showing us how ECAs work. University students need to learn to crawl before they can try to walk. So much work went into this tech. But it's not a product. It's a project! Look behind the scenes at 8:20 — Also; Re: the people suggesting using stock speech synthesizers… What do you learn from that? Two API calls, maybe. Roll your own, using signal processing. You'll learn years' worth! — Edit: Sampling of top comments added! See how far you have to read to find something positive (Hint: Start from the bottom. Because it's the 17th comment.) QUOTE Chris Kistner-King: It's a little late for an April fool's video don't you think? 89 upvotes Patryk Chmiel: Plot twist: Michel is also virtual human, just next generation 114 upvotes
Bob: Honetly, just a blinking light would be a lot better than a 3D model like this. You can't get past the uncanny valley, so better to just not enter it at all. Think of how people respond to HAL or R2D2 in the movies, a non-human looking AI feels a lot more human to us than something that looks kind of human. 221 upvotes
DisplayName: A chatbot with an animated avatar. 31 upvotes
Beacon of Wierd: Next level graphics and animation right there! 74 upvotes
emilemil1: This is some 1995 quality animation. 41 upvotes
SoG Watchman: Really slow response time, 3d model is way to stoic, and it sounds about as intelligent as the IVRs on most phone systems. What was the point of this again? 78 upvotes
Frobard: Fun and interesting of course, but hey it's 2019 now! Surely you can make MUCH better graphics. Disapointed. 16 upvotes
Kamil: Pretty disappointing compared to other prototypes I've seen 6 upvotes
veggiet2009: Ok I expected more than that. If you give something a camera and you know the position of the screen in relation to the camera, you could at least make it look like it's looking at you 14 upvotes
Shall NotWither: This sounds like it is the next gen voice mail box system. Yuck. 7 upvotes
themikead99: Well it sure does talk like a robot. They should use an existing speech engine as the front end and keep the recognition stuff and AI in the background, that way it has a much smoother conversation.
Seegal Galguntijak: "I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I cannot do that."
Jeremy Heminger: It's an automated phone answering service with an avatar. It's not Seri, it's Alexa. It's the computer at the phone company when your trying to get technical support. "Did you say billing?" … "No". "You can just say your command or you can say menu". "Menu"…"Did you say Menu?" . "Yes" … "I am sorry, I cannot help you…goodbye" … "click" 15 upvotes
jmalmsten: Having seen/heard demos of virtual assistants like Google's. Like the one where it successfully orders pizza and the likes… The one presented here feels incredibly robotic and awkward. But mostly it seems like such a frustrating way to work with a computer. It presents itself with the same finesse and versatility of an automated telephone switchboard.
Z1BABOUINOS: Not that smarter than Sound Blaster's AI Dr. Sbaitso for DOS, 1991 – Disappointed!
Tom Courtney: The ability for the virtual human to determine how a conversation is going based on video input of the actual human is very clever. I hope you go well in your endeavours

Nathan Bouldin says:

Someone is a fan of Alice Madness Returns… 2:27

General Makaba says:

Thats really cool but He should consider unreal engine 4. That avatar/assistant ain't fooling anyone. Nothing like python and free character models from paragon to fix this. If he has an API I would love to play around

Marta says:

The uncanny valley. I was feeling uncomfortable seeing that avatar.

Paul Bates says:

I think this technology is more advanced than came across in this video, but it seemed to me that none of this was new technology.

Kyle padilla says:

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Greg McCarthy says:

So in other words, we have a long, long, long, long way to go

scottrsfooty says:

On joke. You really like that microphone

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