BBC news have reported on the work in a laboratory in Cambridge on the development of a talking head – this one taken from an image and the voice of Zoe Lister and called … Zoe …!
The ‘head’ will ‘say’ whatever you type in using a keyboard and in whatever tone of voice you set it to – happy, angry, sad, fearful, etc, and the news report focuses on the use of the head in communicating with each using existing technologies to move away from the use of keyboard and mouse to speech interaction. Talking Avatars will be everywhere!
Which has resulted in mostly negative and critical comments online. But what about another use – working with abused children in diagnostic and therapeutic ways? And in teaching social skills such as how to recognise emotions; young children recognise a very narrow band of emotions in the human face and voice, even up to and into the early to mid teenage years. Adults expect more of teenagers
There’s still some development work to be done, particularly on the accompanying facial expressions, but check out the report and comments using this linke: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-21827924#FBM214031