What happens when technology has a human face? Mike Seymour TEDx

fxguide’s Mike Seymour is currently doing his PhD researching digital humans at the University of Sydney through his research, he was invited to give a TEDx talk in Sydney.

Actors, Agents and Avatars

What happens when we put a face on our devices? Faces that can talk, interact and see us in real time?

In Mike’s TEDx talk, he explores the impact that interactive photoreal digital faces will play in our lives. Mike had previously presented the MEET MIKE project which is also a part of this research, but this talk was more focused on the ethics and societal implications of realistic Avatars and Digital Human Agents.

Mike Seymour speaks at TEDxSydney at The Museum of Contemporary Art Sydney.

Mike suggests that we need to find new ways to provide interaction for people, beyond typing or simply talking to our devices, and that face-to-face communication is central to human experience. At the same time, he examined some of the many ethical implications these new forms of human computer interfaces present.

Pinscreen Digital Mike behind real Mike on stage at TEDx (Photos by Jennifer Polixenni Brankin)

Motus Lab

In addition to fxguide and fxphd, Mike Seymour is a lead researcher in the Motus Lab at The University of Sydney. His research explores using interactive photoreal faces in new forms of Human Computer Interfaces (HCI). In other words, He is looking at deploying realistic digital companions and embodied conversational agents. Mike aims to help take technology from the entertainment industry (games and film) and apply it in these new exciting areas. Motus is part of the Digital Disruption Research Group headed by Prof. Kai Riemer.

Mike is also a member of the Wikihuman project which seeks to distribute and make available all the data gathered for this research. The Motus Lab and Wikihuman both support open source and open standards.

Mike is currently in Hawaii presenting at the 52nd HICSS conference. He is presenting two papers at the conference. One is based on research as part of the MEET MIKE project and another based on a Delphi study into Digital Humans with research from key industry experts from Pixar, Epic Games, ILM, Electronic Arts, Google, Autodesk, Facebook Reality Labs, Magnopus, LolaVFX and others.

Mike’s research is supported by collaboration with a set of key contributors. Unfortunately, the TEDx format does not allow credits but the following companies and teams have been key and extremely generous with their support:

  • Epic Games
  • 3lateral
  • Cubic Motion
  • Wikihuman Project  
  • Chaos Group
  • Pinscreen
  • USC-ICt
  • Loom.ai
  • Disney Research Zurich
  • Apple computers
  • Indiana University 
  • Iowa State University
  • Soul Machines 
Fenella Kernebone hosted the Event: TEDxSydney at The Museum of Contemporary Art Sydney.
The TEDxSydney organising family at The Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney (Remo Giuffre, in the centre, is the founder of TEDx Sydney)