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Serious Games As Virtual Museum Guides

Via: Institute For Creative Technologies - Responsive Virtual Human Museum Guides

With support from the National Science Foundation, the Museum of Science Boston is being engaged to work collaboratively with the University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies to create life-sized 3D virtual, computer generated characters to serve as museum “educators” at the Museum of Science Boston,in MA.

The 3-D Virtual Humans will interact with visitors as interpretive guides and learning facilitators at science exhibits.

Through the use of artificial intelligence and intelligent tutoring techniques, Virtual Humans shall provide a highly responsive functionality in their dialogue interpretation that would generate sophisticated interaction with visitors about the STEM content related to the exhibit.

The project exemplifies how the confluence of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and education can creatively and collaboratively advance new learning processes.

The Virtual Human project is expected to present to the visitor a compelling, real life, interactive example of the future and of the related convergence of various interdisciplinary trends in technology, such as natural language voice recognition, mixed reality environments, para-holographic display, visitor recognition and prior activity recall, artificial intelligence, and other interdisciplinary trends.

The 3-D, life-sized Virtual Humans shall serve as museum educators in four capacities:

1) as a natural language dialogue-based interactive guide that can suggest exhibits to explore in specific galleries and answer questions about particular STEM content areas, such as computer science;
2) as a coach to help visitors understand and use particular interactive exhibits;
3) be the core focus of the Science behind the Virtual Humans exhibit; and
4) as an ongoing research effort to improve human and virtual human interactions at increasingly sophisticated levels of complexity.
Below, model Bianca Rodriguez having her face captured by the ICT Graphics Lab’s Light Stage 5. Bianca is the model for the Responsive Virtual Human Museum Guide.

Bianca's Facial Capture