UK institution University of Sunderland will take part in a study called eCUTE (Education in Cultural Understanding, Technology Enhanced) that will use virtual worlds to help study how children and young people respond to culturally different behavior in a virtual world. The study’s virtual world will use “intelligent characters” that display various types of different cultural behaviors. The eCUTE research program will involve leading experts in emotional and cultural psychology, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, human-computer interaction and cultural computing.
In all, eight research partners and institutions from Portugal, Germany, the Netherlands, and Japan will take part in eCUTE. Sunderland’s role in the project will be evaluating the success of the virtual worlds used in the project. The virtual worlds will use characters that display behaviors associated with different cultural, ethnic, and social backgrounds. The characters will be incorporated into a variety of scenarios that will be tested on children aged 9 to 11 and young adults aged 18 to 25. The eCUTE research program is scheduled to last three years.
[via BBC News]
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