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Living in both the real and virtual worlds

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 June 2001

NADIA MAGNENAT-THALMANN
Affiliation:
MIRALab, Centre Universitaire d'Informatique, University of Geneva, 24, rue du Général-Dufour CH-1211, Geneva, Switzerland. E-mail: thalmann@cui.unige.ch. Web site: http://www.miralab.unige.ch./

Abstract

What is the cyberworld and what is it for? Until now, most virtual worlds have shown interplanetary worlds where aliens or exotic animals live. In the future, virtual worlds will be populated by virtual actors and these actors will act in different situations. For example, in medical simulation, where they will be used as models for surgery, or where such virtual actors will play our roles in telecommunications processes or in entertainment, where we could join a virtual ballet or concert and be, as a virtual self, part of the virtual world. We will also be able, as a virtual human, to interact with virtual actors and explain all kinds of situations. The virtual actors will embody intelligent agents and give a human touch to the interaction with the computer. It will be as if we could deal with kind, affordable and smart humans who will be at our disposal at any time, with a lot of knowledge, and who will help us to understand, to learn and to experience situations that would be impossible without them. The door is then open to an enormous amount of new experience coming from the virtual world.

Type
Original Article
Copyright
© Academia Europaea 2001

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Footnotes

Presented at the Paderborn Conference on Information Technology, supported by the Westfalia Stiftung, Essen, the ‘Virtual Society?’ programme of ESRC(UK) and the European Commission.

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Living in both the real and virtual worlds
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