Steve Goes to Bosnia: Towards a New Generation of Virtual Humans for Interactive Experiences

Jeff Rickel, Jonathan Gratch, Randall Hill, Stacy Marsella, and William Swartout

Interactive virtual worlds provide a powerful medium for entertainment and experiential learning. Our goal is to enrich such virtual worlds with virtual humans -- autonomous agents that support face-to-face interaction with people in these environments in a variety of roles. While supporting face-to-face interaction in virtual worlds is a daunting task, this paper argues that the key building blocks are already in place. We propose an ambitious integration of core technologies centered on a common representation of task knowledge, and we describe an implemented virtual world and set of characters for an Army peacekeeping scenario that illustrates our vision.

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