A Virtual, Controllable Avatar Expresses A Range Of Real Emotions (+VIDEO)
The voice controlled virtual assistant is not just science fiction anymore. The team of researchers at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom has designed Zoe, a virtual “talking head” that can express human emotions. You need to enter a line of text and choose from a range of sliders that determine emotion, then click the enter key and Zoe will reads the message in the tone you wish. The avatar features currently only six basic emotions: happiness, sadness, fear, anger, tenderness and neutrality, as well as changeable pitch, speed and depth settings, though combinations of these levels allow for a huge range of emotions. The size of the program (just ten megabytes) enables to include the technology into future devices like smartphones and tablets. The template surrounding the technology also has the potential to allow for people to upload their own faces and voices in just a few seconds. The team is now amending the realism of the technology and exploring real world applications, such as sending friends a digital “face message” that conveys the emotion you’re feeling, or helping autistic and deaf children to understand emotions and learn to lip-read.