SimSensei Plus Kinnect Equals PKD's Voight-Kampff?

SimSensei uses a digital avatar to conduct an in-person, verbal interview with a human subject to try to detect signs of depression. Take a look at the video below for a sample interview.

The avatar is nothing special, but it's only purpose is to elicit responses from the subject while he is being scanned with a Kinnect sensor.


(SimSensei plus MultiSense)

Skeletal polygonal overlays map the depressed human’s posture, gaze direction, and even “smile level” (yes, that’s an actual graph in the upper right hand corner), converting his ineffable, phenomenological states into a flat stream of bits. It reminded me of Timo Arnall’s eerie “Robot Readable World”: both fascinating and alienating. Are these coarse signals, captured by a cheap piece of commodity technology, really all it takes to detect that another conscious being is mentally suffering?

In Philip K. Dick's 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, public servants like Rick Deckard uses a special machine called the Voight-Kampff apparatusto try to detect the difference between human beings and artificially created beings called "replicants".

A number of questions are asked, and then the biometric data gathered by the Voight-Kampff machine tells the tale - human or not?


(From Harrison Ford Gives The Voight-Kampff Test in Bladerunner)

Via Technology Review.

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