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July 27 2009

FOX to release "Virtual Echo" application. No word on when (you can be notified if you give them your email), but it will apparently be a program that allows you to, "Interact with Echo and explore elements of the Dollhouse like never before."

I saw postcards advertising this at the FOX booth at Comic-Con. Not really sure what's going on here, but I hope it doesn't involve the user deciding what engagements Echo goes on. 'Cause, creepy.

Yeah, um I agree 100% with the creepiness. Cause, I can't think of a way this isn't horribly creepy... and if it isn't, in all honesty how honest to the show would it be? Still, nice of Fox to try and promote it and stuff. Better than that horrid artist wooden doll thing last year.
took me a hot minute to realize that that pic was Eliza.

The promotion leaves me...intrigued on the edge of creeped out.

ETA: what's with the obsession with guns in the promos?

[ edited by edcsLover9 on 2009-07-28 01:17 ]
ditto on taking a minute to figure out that was Eliza in the pic AND the creepy factor....*shudder*
Hmmmm... I'm guessing that it's going to be an application where Echo is on your desktop and you ask her questions and get back certain canned responses, mixed in with a minimum amount of AI to respond to regular questions that don't deal with the Dollhouse. Something similar to the Subservient Chicken website. There was even a version, a number of years ago when Star Wars Episode III was coming out, called "Sith Sense" where you asked Darth Vader questions.
Except Echo will only be capable of six phrases, including, "I try to be my best" and "I think I'll go for a swim."

Also, Matrix Echo, cool pic but...not so much.
Wow, yeah, that is an odd picture. Don't get me wrong, I love longcoats, but I prefer the brown Mal style duster. And Eliza seems way to photoshoppy in the picture.

Oh and regarding guns, I'm not at all surprised. It would be far harder to convey in a single photo the fact that most of the action is brutal hand to hand combat. Guns are a short hand for saying 'Thar be action'.
Virtual Echo? Um. Is that gonna be like VirtuaGirl? 'Cuz yeah, might even be a little sexy, but way creepy. Also I'd wonder if you made your computer into Virtual Echo, would your hard drive get wiped if you uninstall her?

...Is it just me or would anyone else rather have a Virtual River on their desktop?

You know, she'd spout baffling non-sequiturs randomly, come and go through your windows, sit and stare while you used applications or appear startled from behind the window when you quit one, occasionally relabel all your icons, and act as an involuntary spellchecker. Just don't play the Fruity Oaty Bar commercial on YouTube while her program is running.
I'd think the AI will be along the lines of simple phrase munging and keyword matching (and a lot of responses similar to "I'm sorry, I don't understand. I want to be my best, can you help by phrasing that differently ?" ;).

Funnily enough one of the earliest examples of this was a program called "Eliza" (pure coincidence i'd imagine) - Google the name and you get 3 references to the software before everyone's favourite Bostonian turns up ;).

Also, Matrix Echo, cool pic but...not so much.

ETA: The coat/photo looks pretty Matrixy to me too, possibly deliberate ? Joss is a big fan and there're obviously certain parallels.

[ edited by Saje on 2009-07-28 12:23 ]
Funnily enough one of the earliest examples of this was a program called "Eliza" (pure coincidence i'd imagine) - Google the name and you get 3 references to the software before everyone's favourite Bostonian turns up ;).

Oh, I remember Eliza! We had the greatest fun with Emacs when we let Zippy and Eliza have a conversation. (Was it Zippy? How was the dada-statement-generator built into Emacs called?)
Aaargh, an emacs user, start a holy war !


(I dunno in other words wiesengrund, I mainly stuck to that other editor)

Got a BASIC version of 'Eliza' in a magazine once and after typing it in (yes kids, it was the olden days ;) you could change the vocabulary. Substituting swear words was fun for much longer than it probably should've been, even at that age.
I hadn't noticed said war until you mentioned it now. I used both of them regularly back then. :)

But to somehow get back on topic: That pic also struck me as... off. While I do hope the show doesn't abandon the "Dangerous & Action-y"-angle in Season 2, that pic may be overselling it, just like the bunch of Eliza-with-a-gun-pics before Season 1 were.

[ edited by wiesengrund on 2009-07-28 13:13 ]
Ah yeah, topic, roger that ;).

Given the general look (including the gun) and especially the coat i'm fairly convinced it's a deliberate allusion to 'The Matrix' (wasn't there even a character in it who had her hair done like that ?) so in that sense, the photo should be "off" (cos their in-Matrix selves are better looking, cooler etc. but less true than the reality. Except Neo maybe and even he had better clothes). Add to that the normal Hollywood/media over-treatment of photos and we get what we have.

And in general, I don't mind the idea that even the promotional stuff makes you feel a bit weird/creeped out about participating.
I had picked up the postcard advertising this and tried to get the "digital hologram" on the back to work but couldn't. I've seen them before and know the concept but had no luck with this.
Did anyone else?

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