Enjoy a coffee with Einstein

Researchers at ETH professor Markus Gross’ Game Technology Center, together with ETH spin-off Animatico, developed an interactive platform in which a digital version of Einstein narrates his years in Zurich. The three-dimensional animated figure answers a wide variety of questions and sometimes replies with a challenging counter-question or a humorous remark. For the artistic three-dimensional visualization, a younger Einstein was deliberately chosen to match his time in Zurich.

Behind the digital Einstein figure and his ability to see, hear and interact with his viewers is a complex algorithmic system developed by the company Animatico. Dynamic visualization, speech processing, and intention recognition are key technologies used. The screen and the comfortable armchair are also packed with technology: a camera scans the movements and reactions of the viewer while microphones filter out his or her voice from the ambient noise. Special software converts what is said into text, analyzes it, and generates a suitable response — all in real time.

Einstein and other digital characters offer an opportunity to make interaction between humans and machines more intuitive and more accessible to people who are less tech-savvy or who have disabilities. Digital humans might then be deployed at ticket counters and hotel check-ins. They could also provide product advice and act as virtual coaches in healthcare settings.

However, being able to have a completely free-form conversation is still a work in progress. Researchers at ETH are therefore continually improving the Digital Einstein platform to enhance understanding and deliver more sophisticated responses.

Visit us at Campus Info Hönggerberg and get to know the digital Einstein and the technology behind it yourself.

Location: Campus Info Hönggerberg, HIL D 26.5, Stefano-Franscini-Platz 5, 8093 Zürich
Opening hours: Wed 20.10 to Fri 22.10 from 07:30 to 17:00 and Mon 25.10 to Wed 27.10  from 07:30 to 17:00
Corona: All events taking place at ETH Zurich are subject to a mandatory certificate requirement. This means that participants must be vaccinated, have recovered from COVID or test negative for COVID.