The rise of the virtual human

Wendy Powell*, Natalie Corbett, Vaughan Powell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


Virtual Humans are here to stay. From the voice in your satNav to Apple's “Siri”, we are accustomed to engaging in some level of conversation with our technology, and it is rapidly becoming apparent that natural language interfaces have potential in a wide range of applications. Whilst audio-only communication has its place, most natural conversations take place face to face, and believable embodiment of virtual humans is the necessary next step for them to be fully integrated into our lives. Much progress has been made in the creation of relatable characters for film, but real-time facial animation presents a unique set of design challenges. This chapter examines the role of the virtual human, its history, and approaches to design and creation. It looks at ways in which they can be brought to life, interacting, assisting and learning. It concludes with a view into popular culture and perceptions of the future, where fact and fiction meet.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCreative technologies for multidisciplinary applications
EditorsAndy M. Connor, Stefan Marks
PublisherIGI Global
Number of pages31
ISBN (Print)9781522500162
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameAdvances in Media, Entertainment, and the Arts
PublisherIGI Global


  • virtual human
  • avatar
  • creative technology


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