Towards Virtual Humans

William Swartout, Jonathan Gratch, Randall Hill, Eduard Hovy, Stacy Marsella, Jeff Rickel, and David Traum

This paper describes the virtual humans developed as part of the Mission Rehearsal Exercise project, a virtual reality based training system. This project is an ambitious exercise in integration, both in the sense of integrating technology with entertainment industry content, but also in that we have joined a number of component technologies that have not been integrated before. This integration has not only raised new research issues, but it has also suggested some new approaches to difficult problems. We describe the key capabilities of the virtual humans, including task representation and reasoning, natural language dialogue, and emotion reasoning, and show how these capabilities are integrated to provide more human-level intelligence than would otherwise be possible.


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