Humans may soon be able to develop long-term relationships with virtual humans that are capable of reading and adapting to our emotions, say French researchers.
Professor Catherine Pelachaud, director of research from the Paris Institute of Technology presented her research this week at a meeting of the ARC Network in Human Communication Science in Sydney.
Pelachaud and colleagues are developing virtual humans, Embodied Conversational Agents (ECAs), that can act autonomously in a virtual environment. As well as speaking, the agents communicate with facial expressions, head movements, hand gestures and gaze.
They are working on virtual agent that can be taught to detect, via a webcam, the emotion of a person looking at the screen.