Eve, a virtual teacher who understands

Last updated 00:00 01/01/2009
Massey University
ALL ABOUT: The near-human performance of a virtual teacher called Eve created by Massey researchers has drawn the attention of scientists across the computing world.

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First there was Adam and Eve, now there's just Eve - the sultry new face of online education developed to hold the attention of pupils and to respond to their emotions.
Video: The sultry new face of education


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The Easy with Eve system, developed by Massey University scientists and fronted by a 3D animated woman, is believed to be a world first and has drawn attention from computer scientists around the world.

Massey scientist Hossein Sarrafzadeh led a group at the Institute of Information and Mathematical Sciences in Auckland in the system's creation.

"Researchers wanted to create a virtual teacher that could pick up body language and facial expressions like a real teacher, to ensure they are holding the attention of students," he said.

Linked to a child by computer, the 3D character can tell if the child is frustrated, angry or confused and can adapt to suit.

Via a mouse, Eve can also detect body movements, heart rates and skin resistance.

Eve can then ask questions, give feedback and show emotion.

Eve's reactive ability has been hailed as an exciting development.

"With rising demand for long-distance learning and online tutoring, a computer program capable of detecting human emotions may become a critical teaching tool," Dr Sarrafzadeh

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- The Dominion Post

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