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Counterinsurgency Training By 'virtual Human'


virtual soldier Sgt. Star

Driven by artificial intelligence algorithms, the virtual soldier Sgt. Star answers questions from potential recruits on the GoArmy.com website.

Credit: Life

The University of Southern California's (USC's) Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT) straddles the cutting edge in the creation of virtual humans that can respond realistically to the actions and speech of real people. These capabilities are based on a wealth of integrated technologies which include artificial intelligence algorithms and video graphics. ICT has a plan to make virtual humans less expensive and more ubiquitous.

The institute was founded by a U.S. Army grant to meld USC's tech expertise with Hollywood and the video game industry's creativity to build military training simulations. The various researchers and visionaries ICT enlists are taking the idea of virtual reality to a new level of realism, generating immersive environments that, among other things, help U.S. soldiers acclimate themselves to Iraqi and Afghan culture before they are posted overseas.

Among the virtual reality concepts ICT has pioneered is Sgt. Star, a digital character used on the Army's Web recruiting platform to answer questions from potential enlistees in a realistic manner. ICT also has developed Urban Sim, a PC-based game for Army trainees in which participants attempt to manage relations with various factions in a simulated Iraqi city during a counterinsurgency campaign.

View a video in which the virtual character Sgt. Star responds to questions about his creation and role.

From Miller-McCune
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