Currently Zoe can read a message you type in, and do it with the amount of emotion you want on a sliding scale: anger, sadness, happiness, tenderness, fearfulness. She can also strike a neutral bot-like tone. The researchers then create a video of Zoe saying the message with that emotion.
"Soon I will be interactive, 3D, and be able to adapt to your needs," Zoe says in this video. "One day I might appear on your phone, I could be your personal assistant, your mentor, or your carer."
Holographic Princess Leia Nears Reality
Next the researchers want to extend their model so it could be customized to show someone else based on photos and a few seconds of that person speaking. Sounds cool but also potentially pretty risky. Imagine merging Siri with Zoe and you'd either have a helpful tool or an apocalyptic sci-fi movie.
Photo: A video showing Zoe communicating. Credit: The University of Cambridge (video)