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One New Thing
Tuesday, March 16, 2004
One New Thing: Technology can provide us with amazing tools.

Like ghosts.

I’m a bit behind on my reading, so it’s taken me a while to notice Slashdot’s pointer to the DELCA project. This is absolutely fascinating. This project is about developing Disembodied Location-Specific Conversational Agents, artificially intelligent agents that have a physical presence. It seems to me that these are much like the chatterbots that you find on webpages, except a DELCA ghost hangs about in one particular physical area and will pop out to help when necessary – sometimes with a visible appearance and sometimes just as a disembodied voice.

It seems that the ghosts are expected to make their debut on location at IT-University (Copenhagen) in September 2004. The working paper (pdf) states that: “Our hope is that the ghost takes away some of the artificiality of interacting
with virtual agents by deliberately creating a fictive universe with alternate rules.” It’s a very, very interesting idea, and I can’t wait to see how it will all work!

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