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Photoreal REaltime Sentient ENTity

Project description

Welcome to the next generation of virtual assistants

Our relationship with virtual entities is deepening. Already, we are using technologies like Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant to aid in day-to-day tasks. The EU-funded PRESENT project will develop a virtual digital companion, which will not only sound human but also look natural, demonstrate emotional sensitivity, and establish meaningful dialogue. Advances in photorealistic computer-generated characters, combined with emotion recognition and behaviour, and natural language technologies, will allow these virtual agents to not only look realistic but respond like a human. The project will demonstrate a set of practical tools, a pipeline and an application programming interface.


PRESENT is a proposal for a three-year Research and Innovation project to create virtual digital companions––embodied agents––that look entirely naturalistic, demonstrate emotional sensitivity, can establish meaningful dialogue, add sense to the experience, and act as trustworthy guardians and guides in the interfaces for AR, VR and more traditional forms of media.
There is no higher quality interaction than the human experience when we use all our senses together with language and cognition to understand our surroundings and––above all—to interact with other people. We interact with today’s ‘Intelligent Personal Assistants’ primarily by voice; communication is episodic, based on a request-response model. The user does not see the assistant, which does not take advantage of visual and emotional clues or evolve over time. However, advances in the real-time creation of photorealistic computer generated characters, coupled with emotion recognition and behaviour, and natural language technologies, allow us to envisage virtual agents that are realistic in both looks and behaviour; that can interact with users through vision, sound, touch and movement as they navigate rich and complex environments; converse in a natural manner; respond to moods and emotional states; and evolve in response to user behaviour.
PRESENT will create and demonstrate a set of practical tools, a pipeline and APIs for creating realistic embodied agents and incorporating them in interfaces for a wide range of applications in entertainment, media and advertising. The international partnership includes the Oscar-winning VFX company Framestore; technology developers Brainstorm, Cubic Motion and IKinema; Europe’s largest certification authority InfoCert; research groups from Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Universität Augsburg and Inria; and the pioneers of immersive virtual reality performance CREW.

Call for proposal


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Sub call



Net EU contribution
€ 565 000,00
08002 Barcelona

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Este Cataluña Barcelona
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 565 000,00

Participants (11)