HCA NEWS Digital Hans Christian Andersen

Digital version of Hans Christian Andersen that speaks to children

By ms - H.C. Andersen 2005 - 10 November 2004

The University of Southern Denmark along with international partners is currently creating a digital version of Hans Christian Andersen that can communicate and through speech and movement, according to the magazine Comupterworld. Digital Andersen is part of a DKK 35 million project involving five partners from different countries.

The European Commission has granted the project DKK 25 million while industrial partners have contributed the rest. The project entitled NICE, which stands for Natural Interactive Communication for Edutainment, is currently at such an advances stage that the University of Southern Denmark is looking for partners with which to exploit the commercial aspects of the project.

The digital Andersen is able to understand and interact with the verbal communication of children and their gestures. Researchers at the University of Southern Denmark are mainly occupied with making sense of the words and sentences related to voice recognition, which forms the basis of the computer-generated response in the form of graphics and sound.

According to Computerworld, Niels Ole Bernsen from the University of Southern Denmark, has high hopes for the technology. One commercial application is pure entertainment and yet another aspect is to help keep our cultural heritage alive by bringing people from the past back to life.

"Anyone can be simulated from Jesus Christ to Stalin. Updating these characters online will allow us to improve them," Niels Ole Bernsen says to Computerworld.

Initially, everything is conducted in English since that makes international cooperation on the project easier, but the Danish researchers are very interested in developing a Danish version.