Avatars are the digital replicas of our physical selves. They are the embodied interface to virtual words and our alter-ego in the digital realm. In contrast to the physical world, avatars can have almost any conceivable shape and appearance and are not restricted to match our original biological counterparts. Notably, this freedom consistently causes interesting effects regarding the plasticity of our body schema and resulting changes our self-consciousness: Our body changes our mind.
These effects fuel philosophical questions about dualism and the relationship between mind and matter and initiate envisioning of a multitude of potential futures and consequences of an embodied internet. The talk will highlight the state of the art, our current findings of known effects, technical limitations and options, and the philosophical questions arising with such a technology. arc studied mathematics and computer sciences at the University of Paderborn, the New York Institute of Technology and the Bielefeld University. After several accompanying years in the computer business, he received his PhD in 2001 in the area of multimodal–gesture and speech–interaction for Virtual Reality.
He headed the AI & VR Lab at the Bielefeld University until 2007, became professor for media informatics at the University of Applied Sciences (HTW) in Berlin, and founded the Intelligent Graphics Group at Bayreuth University in 2009.
Marc holds the chair for human-computer interaction at Würzburg University since 2011. His work is interdisciplinary oriented towards human-computer interaction interconnecting real-time 3D graphics and simulation, virtual and augmented environments, Artificial Intelligence, and cognitive sciences. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.