Today I came across a news item at http://infolab.northwestern.edu/project.asp?id=40 . It is about news casting with computer generated characters.
Aparantly news items gathered by search engines are transcribed from written text to spoken text - as against simply reading the written text; Clever!!!
Even as I was reading the article it ocurred to me that it would be nice to scan in a novel and have it instantly turned into a movie.
But that is an obvious application. It would be pretty useful to have technical data spoken to you on how to operate your washing machine, or what your mortgage contract is actually saying.
Only last week I read of a handheld computer used by troops in Iraq that can do instant translations, so put them together and you could talk to anyone around the world using a nice looking version of yourself. It seems to me something that could put the Generals out of work.
I have always felt that animation can save the world, and it is certainly making inroads into crime. A recent article stated that video tapes of criminals caught on CCTV are now having their walks analysed by computers. We all have a walk cycle as unique as our fingerprints so it seems a good idea.
What else can be done? As CCTV cameras don't have sound they can't capture voiceprints, but that can't be too difficult to do.
A couple of years ago we ran a workshop called 'Kids Crack Crime' getting young teenagers to suggest ways of catching criminals, and making a short cartoon of it. The project went well, the group we worked with won the Guy Ritchie Award.
I look forward to 'Crime Watch' being shown with Computer generated presenters, with the crimes being re-enacted by avatars. We might soon be calling Reality 'Virtual Fantasy'.