Is she real or is she artificial ? Well, she looks real, but there is something ‘wrong’. Those were some of the reflections when I showed the video to some people near me. I learned about this work from an MIT Technology Review this week, that kept boggling me, in good and worrisome ways. (be sure to play on full screen get the full experience)
(The video was not embeddable overhere, so I had to upload it to Youtube myself for now. Ping me if you found a official upload)
We’ve seen virtual assistants over the past years comping, still not really delivering to the promise we gained from all kinds of movies and software. This one to me is the first to really come into play, using great graphics and artificial intelligence combined at a level that makes you look twice. The voice and face of Cate Blanchett has been used for this production that is aimed at people with disabilities to be aided though this system.
A close collaboration with IBM’s Watson made the system vivid and lively.
The ‘father’ of the system, is Mark Sagar, well know from his work and academy award winning movie-picture like Avatar and King Kong. He is also the CEO of Soul Machines . The story of the making of Nadia is worth reading as well.
Recently IBM presented some of their work showing how the interaction works at a conference.
So to me all of this Cleary shows how we evolve from first generation products to more mature versions that combine technology and accumulate innovations to grow exponentially. I can’t wait to see the first results of studies done with these to prove of bust the use in every day practice for people wit or without disabilities.