EU Horizon 2020 research program concerning intelligent avatars.
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.
PRESENT is a project in the context of HORIZON 2020
There's a lot of hype going on about Artificial Intelligence (AI), with scaremongering in the media by tech icons such as Elon Musk. In the cultural world, the technologically gullible go off on rants without really knowing what they are talking about. The truth is AI, as in a quantifiable independent source of intelligence, does not exist.
For Coup de Ville 2020, CREW_lab showcases research inspired by the work of neuropsychiatrist Dr. Georges Otte and neurosurgeon/scientist Dr. Dirk De Ridder. Together with CREW they developed an environment where art, VR and biofeedback can be used to treat certain psychopathologies, especially depressions.
To create more than just impressive environments in VR and to fulfil our mission of blending performing arts with digital technologies, CREW is constantly investigating ways to integrate digital characters or avatars. It is the topic of our Horizon 2020 research project PRESENT. PRESENT aims for photorealism, but also realism in a more general sense, which entails many other aspects, aspects that are often underestimated or even ignored.
When I arrived at CREW, Eric kept stressing the importance of free body movement in VR, to roam around in large spaces. I didn’t quite pick up on it immediately. Sure large spaces are nice, but in the end VR is about visuals and sound, no matter how you move about. After a while, I realized he was on to something. You see the point is not the space, but the movement. Our mind constructs space by means of our own movement.
In a time when traveling abroad is no longer evident and the nearness of others feels destabilising, CREW revisits the boundaries of substance and illusion with the installation Delirious Departures, transforming the Royal Museums of Fine Arts into a train departure hall. The place where travellers cross, say goodbye, make haste, wait. Where fragments of conversation, foreign languages, service announcements, a chilly draught, closing doors, footsteps, coffee slurping travellers and many other (inter)actions and sounds mingle.