English into 3D

In a previous speculative blog, I suggested that text to visual 3D ‘translation’ might one day enhance our access to content. This report from the University of Ulster suggests that we may not have to wait too long.

Professor Paul McKevitt and PhD student Minhua Eunice Ma, from the Faculty of Engineering at Magee, have developed a unique software package that can automatically transform English into 3D computer animation.

The project is part of an ongoing research collaboration between computing and the arts, investigating how storytelling can benefit from the help of artificial intelligence.

The world-leading software, which incorporates 3D virtual reality graphics, animated characters, speech and sound effects, has endless possibilities for the film and entertainment industry as well as for the education sector.

“This unique package showcases collaboration between the Faculty of Engineering and the Faculty of Arts. The software understands natural language English input and automatically maps it into 3D multimedia presentations. It can be used in something as simple as bringing a child’s story to life or as an educational tool to allow students to view literature from different perspectives. It could also have applications for teaching languages,” said Professor McKevitt.

More on McKevitt’s work can be found here


Andrew Joscelyne
European, a language technology industry watcher since Electric Word was first published, sometime journalist, consultant, market analyst and animateur of projects. Interested in technologies for augmenting human intellectual endeavour, multilingual méssage, the history of language machines, the future of translation, and the life of the digital mindset.

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