Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Topics - Shastalore

Pages: [1]
On a lark, I checked out a local Michaels Arts & Crafts store, and purchased an inexpensive foam FloraCraft SmoothFōM Female Head, White.

I also purchased a cheap party wig, placed it on top of the foam head, and mounted it on a camera tripod.

Using one of my vintage Windows XP laptops, which had an s-video out jack, I plugged in a cable with an s-video-to-RCA adapter, and plugged it into a small OptiMax ii Docking Multimedia LED Projector, not wanting to use my full-size video projector, as it was overkill for the task. Any cheap, low-resolution LED video projector will do, as the projected image required is so small that the face will appear quite sharp and bright in typical subdued room light.

But before opening Ultra Hal 7.5, I chose to open Answerpad-Plus v1.8.6 instead, as it had a much more active ramble-talking function, allowing me to zoom and accurately fit "Annita" a Microsoft Agent character, as being a talking head. "Annita" seemed suitable for the task, to serve as a face to the foam bust, and making sure the talking mouth was in alignment with the molded, white foam lips.

I then opened Ultra Hal 7.5 and selected the animated "Annita" again. But after a test run, I later opted for the animated "Crystal" Microsoft Agent character, as she had less expressions/animations which kept her always in alignment with the foam bust eye-nose-mouth features, as well as her realistic, exaggerated lip-sync, both features that worked quite well on the foam bust, much better than the "Annita" Microsoft Agent character. Sure, "Crystal" is a blonde, but still worked quite well with the black wig.

Selecting the Ultra Hal 7.0 Default Brain (offline), with Female Gender and Loneliness 2.3 options on Ultra Hal 7.5, I conversed with the "Crystal" MS Agent character, with the Crystal AT&T Natural Voice 1.4 SAPI4... and it worked great. Although the off-the-shelf white foam bust had rather bland facial features, the projected Microsoft Agent character worked in combination to create distinctive facial features that exaggerated the 3-D features of the foam face. And I highly recommend hanging up a black felt backdrop behind the talking head. I wore a noise-cancelling headset for conversing, but an audio speaker hidden behind the talking head is also a viable option.

But my main point for this post is that I strongly feel that those developing interactive humanoid robotics are wasting too much time on servo-activated faces, when an internal projection of a human-like face, onto a translucent white face mask is a much simpler, yet quite realistic and effective option for the hobbyist. I also strongly feel that humanoid robotics is going in the wrong direction with servo-motor actuated body movements, when it should put its efforts in Shape Memory Alloy mechanics: a maze of almost parallel metal wires that contract when voltage is applied, functioning like living muscle fibers... but I won't go there for now.

In this post I've included a 3-D still projected image of the "Annita" Microsoft Agent character for you to view. I've produced 3-D stereo images before, but this time I decided to take each of the two images further apart than usual, in order to produce a 3-D image with exaggerated features. Also, these two frames were made from the Ultra Hal 7.5 motion video which, when viewed in real time, produce a much sharper and realistic effect, with blinking eyes and all.

To properly view the 3-D stereo image:

1. You may need to open the 3-D image to a larger size, in another browser tab.
2. Viewing the 3-D image from a normal reading distance, hold up a sharpened pencil with the pencil point mid-distance between your eyes and the 3-D image, and centered between both images.
3. Two images will become three images as your eyes will naturally cross, as you admire the image subject matter, and the middle image lifts off the screen and appears absolutely real and highly detailed.
4. Move your head, side-to-side, as well as up and down to fully sense the 3-D effect.


Speech Technology / Acoustic Magic Voice Tracker Microphone
« on: May 15, 2023, 11:45:09 pm »
A few years ago I was lucky enough to pick up a used Acoustic Magic Voice Tracker Microphone, more specifically: Acoustic Magic Voice Tracker I Array Microphone (1/8" microphone plug).

I had high hopes for this device, but it failed to meet my expectations, testing it on IBM ViaVoice for Windows Standard Edition 10.0, as well as Dragon NaturallySpeaking Professional 9... both on Windows XP.
To produce the best results possible, I wore earphones to eliminate any audio feedback, and did speech recognition tests in an unusually quiet environment.
The Acoustic Magic Voice Tracker Microphone performance was far below that of a good noise cancelling headset: 1/8" microphone/earphone plug headset versions as well as USB headset versions.

I've successfully used the Acoustic Magic Voice Tracker Microphone, but only for what it was designed for: on my portable lectern, equipped with a microphone for the speaker, and then switched over to the Acoustic Magic Voice Tracker Microphone, pointed at the audience, to serve as a large room microphone for public discussions and input.

I know that the Holy Grail of conversing with developing Artificial Intelligence will ultimately be free of headsets... but we're just not there yet.

Any suggestions? Change my mind.

In Ultra Hal Assistant Options / Brain / Ultra Hal 7.0 Default Brain / Adult Language Settings / Prioritize Gender Focus
there are multiple choices to suit everyone, but we're left scratching our heads as to just who is who.

For example: the "Male talking to Female" option... does that mean that Ultra Hal 7.0 poses as a Male and the user is a Female? Or does that mean that the user is a Male and Ultra Hal 7.0 poses as a Female?

I've tried both "Male talking to Female" and "Female talking to Male" options, but I've not used Ultra Hal 7 enough to tell the difference, and I certainly don't want to muddy the water on Ultra Hal 7's learning process.

Pages: [1]