Universität Bielefeld Technische Fakultät - AG Wissensbasierte Systeme

Machines that act like persons

Ipke Wachsmuth

CITEC / Faculty of Technology
Bielefeld University


Will it be possible one day to have machines that live up to human communication abilities and that take on the role of social partners? A goal of research in artificial intelligence is the advancement of human-machine interaction by systems which make communication with the human more intuitive. At Bielefeld University we have developed an anthropomorphic machine with person-like qualities, named "Max". Embodied in virtual reality, Max can perform diverse actions and conduct a dialog with the human. By the help of microphones and video cameras or tracker systems, Max can "hear" and "see", and process verbal instructions and gestures. With a synthetic voice and an articulated body and face, Max can speak and gesture, and express emotions. Our research is led by the expectation that the study of artificial communication will help to enhance the understanding of human communication. For many years, Max has also been employed in a public computer museum, providing the visitors with various information and engaging them in a conversation. Perhaps, machines that act like persons may become helpful assistants for people in the information society.

Talks: Seoul (Humboldt Int'l Science Culture Forum) 06-11-2009, Seoul (Ewha Womans University) 24-06-2010, Koblenz 25-05-2011, Günne 18-03-2012, Gießen 09-12-2015

Ipke Wachsmuth, last updated 2015-09-25