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Avatars as Digital Companions

Animated figures that look like people could simplify communication on the internet in future. Avatars are already able to simulate emotions.

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The idea is that when a computer figure seems human and evokes feelings, people can identify with it and accept it as a conversational partner. Virtual assistants, for instance, could guide people through a website's menu. The specialist term for the use of digital characters in commercial settings is "emotional marketing." In the future, there could be personal avatars for daily routines, accompanying their users from home PCs to their cars and, on a smartphone, to the workplace.