Virtual Humans: What Are They and Why Use Them?

By: Ron Goldman, Co-Founder & CEO


Why Use Virtual Humans for Training?

Virtual humans help engage users:

  • Levels of Realism: Kognito virtual humans can be designed to any desired level of realism. Research shows that learning, retention and engagement are actually undermined by overly-realistic characters,
  • Customized to Users: Virtual humans can be created and customized to the appropriate gender, age, language, and physical appearance for each given simulation or learner. In some cases, users can choose their own avatar
  • Comfort: Virtual humans create a marked difference between real characters and virtual ones, minimizing the possibility of transference reaction

Virtual human simulations provide a safe and effective instructional environment:

  • Safe to Experiment: Users can experiment with various clinical approaches and communication styles without fear of repercussions on real patients
  • Openness to feedback: Research suggests that users are more open to receiving feedback from a synthetic agent than from a human being, and feel less judged
  • Situated Learning: Characters and environments can be adapted to reflect the learner’s professional setting and population of interest. Deliberate practice in a situated environment tailored to the learner promotes engagement, retention, and transfer to professional practice

The Kognito Expertise:

For a virtual human to be “effective” it must combine the correct appearance/level of realism, life-like body language, and a voice that generates the correct level of authenticity and engagement. In addition, they need to act and respond like a real person would which requires for them to have memory, emotions, and a personality. Kognito has over a decade of experience is doing exactly that and the quality of its work, methodology, and technology are backed by over a dozen empirical studies. Please visit for more information.

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