With its participation in the European research program PRESENT (in the context of HORIZON 2020), CREW strives for increased interaction within the virtual media.
PRESENT wants to create virtual digital assistants and companions - conscious agents - that look completely natural, show and perceive emotional sensitivity, enter into a meaningful dialogue, add meaning to the experience and act as reliable guardians and guides in the interfaces for AR, VR and more traditional forms of media.
There is no richer and more complex interaction than the human experience, when we use all our senses together with language and our cognitive abilities to understand our surroundings and interact with other people.
Current Intelligent Personal Assistants or IPAs (such as Apple Siri, Microsoft Cortana, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa) are limited by comparison. IPAs do not as a rule have anthropomorphic representations: put more simply, they lack most of the features we rely on to communicate. We interact with them via smart phones and smart speakers; communication is voice driven and episodic, based on a request-response model. The assistants do not take advantage of visual clues or build an evolving affective relationship that might evolve.
While AR and VR involve visual and spatial data, the systems create physical barriers that restrict interaction by getting in the way of sensory input and communication. However, advances in the real-time creation of photorealistic computer generated characters, coupled with emotion and behaviour recognition, and natural language technologies, allow us to envisage a virtual agent that is realistic in both looks and behaviour; that can interact with users as they navigate rich and complex environments; converses in a natural manner; responds to human moods and emotional states; and evolves in response to the user’s behaviour.
Part of the research covers privacy, encryption and the ethical implications. There is no doubt these new tools / instruments will redefine our behaviour and the world we live in. The question is how.
That is why it is CREW's ambition to set up a nomadic and innovative platform in which various immersive media can be used, where multiple perspectives are shown, multiple levels of immersion can be experienced (offered by HMD, tablets, etc.) and multiple levels of interaction can take place.
In the coming years CREW will work on several artistic components of this platform.
Universitat Pompeu Fabra(Spain)
The Framestore Limited (UK)
Cubic Motion Ltd (UK)
Infocert S.P.A. (Italy)
Brainstorm Multimedia S.L. (Spain)
CREW vzw (Belgium)
Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et Automatique (INRIA) (France)
Universitaet Ausburg (Germany)
in the context of HORIZON 2020