Emily is not real, really?

This has to be one of the most effective product pitches I've ever seen. "Emily" is special in a digital sort of way. She clears a hurdle in animation some call the "uncanny valley," which suggests that our awareness of, and sometimes our revulsion to, non-human features in animated objects is heightened the closer they appear in likeness to us. I stumbled upon the video while reading a bit about some anthropological work in Second Life.

I also couldn't help but notice the similarity in name to Eliza, another well known example of human-computer interaction that was equally, if less visibly, real.

The silicon landscape is certainly more interesting these days.