Popular Science’s: Future of Immortality program features EVL’s LifeLike Avatar Research

October 12th, 2009 - October 14th, 2009

Categories: Applications, Government, Human Factors, Multimedia, Software, Tele-Immersion, User Groups, VR

Baratunde Thurston as LifeLike Astronaut Avatar
Baratunde Thurston as LifeLike Astronaut Avatar


Popular Science’s: Future of Immortality program that airs October 12th through 14th on Discovery’s “The Science Channel” features EVL’s LifeLike project and research in the development of realistic avatars.

See PopSci’s Future Of: Immortal Avatars on-line video clip

“This is the Electronic Visualization Lab at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Here cyber scientists - Jason Leigh and Ron DeMara have an undying interest in perpetuating personalities with sophisticated software.

This is Alex the avatar. Alex is the digital double of Alex Schwarzkopf a former director of the National Science Foundation. When the NSF began funding project LifeLike, Alex found opportunity to have top scientific minds make him immortal without even becoming a Bond villain.

Right now cyber Alex only comes alive when he is turned on; but down the road, he’ll be like the old Max Headroom living on-line 24/7, standing in for the real Alex and even appearing several places at once.

Avatar Alex combines CG realism with just enough artificial smarts to pick-up verbal and non-verbal cues. In other words, he just doesn’t speak - he converses…”