Virtual Dog – Man’s Best Friend?

Remember Tamagotchis – virtual pets you could take care of? Well, there’s something way better coming up for you – a new type of software that learns by interacting with avatars in virtual worlds such as Second Life. The AIs will start by being placed in virtual pets that grow more intelligent as they interact with their human owners, and would one day be able to support more sophisticated creatures such as, for example, talking parrots.

Nowadays there are many pets in virtual worlds, unfortunately none of them having much intelligence. Inventors of the new AI type say they have a pretty fully functioning animal brain right now and are hooking it up to the different virtual worlds. They’re sure they can make “really cool artificial animals”. So – maybe one day you will be able to teach your virtual dog some nice tricks while playing Second Life... it might even turn out that your virtual dog will be quicker to learn than the real one. Your virtual Buddy, Sparky, Daisy or Missy won’t lose their hair or need to go out when it’s raining – that’s of course if they’re designed not to do so. They may really become your best friends – both intelligent and not demanding.

The new artificial intelligence is scheduled to be announced at the San Jose Virtual Worlds conference in early October.

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