Animate Technologies : Baby X

by Marlena Zakrzewska on September 2, 2014

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One of my friends, who    specialises in cognitive computing, has recently shared with me  neurobehavioral animation research which focuses on  modelling  the brain processes that give rise to behaviour and social learning and use these to animate lifelike models of the face which can interact with you.

I was truly astonished and decided to write my first blog article after a lovely holiday about this phenomenal research.

Imagine a machine that can laugh and cry, learn and dream, and can express its inner responses to how it perceives you to feel. It can express itself in a natural manner but also allows you to visualise the mental imagery emerging in its mind.

The Laboratory for Animate Technologies is creating ‘live’ computational models of the face and brain by combining Bioengineering, Computational and Theoretical Neuroscience, Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Computer Graphics Research. Applications of the technology include both Pure Research and Commercial Applied Research including:  Exploration and Embodiment of theories of Brain function and behaviour through computational modelling as well as  new, more natural ways of interacting with Technology through expressive human-machine communication.

Baby X is an interactive animated virtual infant prototype.

BabyX is a computer generated psychobiological simulation under development in the Laboratory of Animate Technologies and is an experimental vehicle incorporating computational models of basic neural systems involved in interactive behaviour and le462c2a9a12304ed2ee3f2ab5e3b49e40arning.

These models are embodied through advanced 3D computer graphics models of the face and upper body of an infant. The system can analyse video and audio inputs in real time to react to the caregiver’s or peer’s behaviour using behavioural models.

BabyX embodies many of the technologies we work on in the Laboratory and is under continuous development, in its neural models, sensing systems and also the realism of its real time computer graphics.

Also I recommend watching the following video which allows us to see Baby X interactive stimulation. I have been working for years with education and behavioural treatments and  I believe that there is a lot of potential application for this sort of simulation, especially in education, where modeling the behavior of individuals and groups of children at every age could aid researchers. I am very pleased to see that  the principles of Verbal Behavioural treatment such as association, conditioning and reinforcement learning are proven to be so effective and  successful that are used in this experiment in machine learning. Effectively teaching the child through code, while engineering such a program, is no cakewalk; the result is an adorably giggling digital baby with an uncanny ability to learn through interaction.

About Marlena Zakrzewska :

Marlena is a consultant with Bearing, with a strong background in analysis, cognitive and behavioural studies and innovation.

Marlena was educated at King’s College London and Humboldt University Berlin, and has been involved in extensive studies regarding social psychology and consumer behaviour.

She believes that by understanding what affects behaviour and, by extension, how to influence behaviour, both organisations and individuals can become more successful. Understanding exactly how small changes to the details of an offer can influence the way people react to it is crucial to unlock significant value.

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