Saturday, June 28, 2008

EVA at the Entrepreneurship Exhibition in Paris

This is a photo of a demonstration of the EVA technology we have done during the Salon des Entrepreneurs (Paris, 6-7 February 2008). The interface was designed as an animated character using Flash and displayed on a large LCD screen. This virtual assistant was able to answer in natural language to visitors about the creation of new companies in the "Hauts-de-Seine" state (Conseil Général du département 92). Thanks to this result, the next version of the state website will include an online EVA agent called Alicia. This new website will be online in the begining of January 2009. More information soon.

Friday, June 27, 2008

EVA 5 Release 15

This is the first available EVA release for download. The Zip file contains a simple applet example and all the necessary source files for developing your own application. Click here to download this release. Note that there is no Java source file since it is absolutly not necessary nor recommended to modify the EVA core technology. However, you will find here a Java source example if you need to develop your own Chat client with EVA.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

An Avatar Factory for EVA

Gabriel Casbai and his team of IIM students have developed for EVA an "avatar factory". This prototype is designed using (Adobe) Flash and implements an interactive Genetic Algorithm. The principle is quite simple. The tool creates a population of avatars with different eyes, noses, hairs, etc. The user can then select some of these characters and the tool applies crossing-over and mutation operators on this selection. This results in a new generation of characters. When the user is satisfied by one of the proposed character, then he can export it as a Flash module which can be directly used as an animated 2D character interface with EVA.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Artificial Creatures – The Book

In January this year, I have published the book “Les Créatures Artificielles” (Odile Jacob, Paris). It covers the history, trends and perspectives of Artificial Creatures. I have written these 500 pages as a reference book covering both scientific and cultural aspects of this fascinating theme. From the erotic Galatee to the "Eve future", from the Golem to the Monster of Frankenstein, from the robots of Capek to Cameron's Terminator, from 2001's HAL computer to the AI agents in The Matrix, artificial creatures have always been present in our imagination. From the prehistorics paintings to the antic animated statues, from automata to advanced robots, from computer virus to AI, they have also peupled our reality. Anyone interested by automata, robots, cyborgs and, of course, virtual creatures, will find all the important information and references. Unfortunatly, for English-language readers, it is in French… But I hope that there will be an English translation in the short term.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

History of EVA versions

The current EVA architecture is the result of the project evolution rather than a single design thread. The initial version of EVA was developed as an application running on the Windows desktop environment, with most features “hard coded” in C++. The creature design was limited to a simple 3D face (left part of the image), inspired by Ken Perlin’s face demo project. The second version (2004) added a tiny Scheme interpreter for scripting the creature’s behaviors and Genetic Programming experiments (right part of the image shows an example of a 3D face in version 2). A description of this version has been published at the Intelligent Agent Technology conference in 2004. The third version (2006) was the first Java implementation of EVA. It introduced also the use of XML for coding knowledge bases. The fourth version (2007) provided a Multi-Agent architecture based on a small set of agents and a communication server. We conducted web mining experiments with this version. The last version (2008) is the most open and advanced architecture based on a swarm-like model.