Virtual Humans: A Build-it-yourself Kit, Complete with Software and Step-by-step Instructions, Volume 1

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AMACOM Div American Mgmt Assn, 2004 - Business & Economics - 279 pages
3 Reviews

"Foreword by Ray Kurzweil, author, The Age of Spiritual Machines

""Virtual humans"" may seem like something out of science fiction, but they are already here. Companies use them as website hosts, individuals use them as personal assistants, and people interact with them in computer games, educational applications, and many other arenas. The possibilities are limitless, but the most amazing thing is that anyone can create a ""V-human"" from scratch. Virtual Humans gives not just start-to-finish instructions for designing a charming synthetic person, but also a CD-ROM containing the tools and techniques to make it real. Readers will learn how to:

* create their own authentic and engaging personalities

* apply VH technology to business and individual projects

* add synthetic voices and realistic faces to virtual humans

* use personality psychology and humor in character design

* design advanced emotion expression engines

This book-and-CD package is the first of its kind and a landmark on a par with the first build-your-own-Web-site products. Readers will be among the first to create ultra-realistic, versatile V-human personalities, and will start well ahead of what is soon to be a tidal wave of worldwide interest."

 

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This book was 5 stars at Amazon for several years. The point of the book is not technical and never was. It's about interfacing technology with with humanity...and how to do it effectively. The subtitle is "Creating the illusion of Personality" Plantec, as president of Virtual Personalities, Inc. designed and built (with his team) the first practical and useful virtual human interface, Sylvie. The other reviews I've read here are from people who simply didn't "get" the whole point of the book. It is exceptionally well written and fun with a great chapter on virtual humor and suggestions for how to create compelling characters to act as an interface for the "technologically disenfranchised" who fear technology but do know how to relate to a human face, using human language. 

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Wisdom. Kurzweilai.net Kurzweil big thinkers.

Contents

Foreword
TwoWay Voice Interaction 151
O12 Lets Face It 165
Virtual Acting 183
Oil Do You Recognize Me? Biometrics for Home and Business 191
O15 Turn the Light On Will You Please? 199
O17 Following ALICE Down the Rabbit Hole 223
O18 Endless Possibilities 233
Appendix A Contents of the CDROM 249
Appendix B Recommended Resources 255
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Peter Plantec (Aspen, CO) is the creator of Sylvie, the first commercially available virtual human interface, and cofounder of Virtual Personalities, Inc. A psychologist, animator, and software designer, he heads both OrdinaryMagic.com and V-people.com. He is contributing editor and columnist at AVVideo/Multimedia Producer Magazine, and is the author of Caligari trueSpace 2 Bible, a number one best-seller in its genre.

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