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Electronic Imaging & Signal Processing

In cybertherapy, avatars assist with healing

New York Times
23 November 2010

For more than a decade, a handful of therapists have been using virtual environments to help people to work through phobias, like a fear of heights or of public spaces. But now advances in artificial intelligence and computer modeling are allowing them to take on a wider array of complex social challenges and to gain insight into how people are affected by interactions with virtual humans -- or by inhabiting avatars of themselves.

The Canadian military has invested heavily in virtual-reality research; so has the United States Army, which has been spending about $4 million annually on programs with computer-generated agents, for training officers and treating post-traumatic stress reactions.

Full story from the New York Times