TODAY

TODAY   |  May 27, 2013

Text better with a face to go with your message

Everyone who texts knows that sometimes the emotion behind your message is misconstrued. Some Cambridge scientists have come up with a solution: a talking head who can convey your intended emotions. NBC’s Michelle Kosinski reports.

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>>> and now to what could be the future of texting. messages that put a human face on your texts. nbc's michelle kosinski is in london with this story. michelle, good morning.

>> hi, willie. unfortunately, who hasn't had this experience? you send a quick e-mail, a hasty text, but the emotion behind your words is lost or worse yet, it is misconstrued. well, some cambridge scientists are taking this seriously. they've created this computer model , and they want to put a talking, breathing human face on your text messages .

>> so nice to meet you.

>> reporter: ah.

>> it still needs a bit of work.

>> reporter: type in anything.

>> i will be your future best friend.

>> reporter: add as much emotion you want.

>> my favorite emotion is panic. we thought we'd mix a little bit of fear with anger.

>> someone please help me. i lost my passport.

>> reporter: and a computer shapes the face and voice that could become the way we send messages with a tad more emotion than these guys, anyway. make it sound really sad, really sad.

>> that's about 100% sad now.

>> i'm going to be late for dinner tonight.

>> reporter: quite convincing. playing with this thing is irzis bible.

>> why did you have to wake me up at 5:00 a.m .? you know i like to sleep in.

>> reporter: and this is the real zoe, the actress reading 7,000 phrases.

>> record the same phrase six times in those different emotions.

>> reporter: giving the computer the building blocks to say what you'd like, how you'd like.

>> supercalifragilistic- expialidocious.

>> a little bit weird.

>> reporter: and real emotions are so complex.

>> i love you so much.

>> reporter: it often takes a sort of cocktail. a little bit angry. why did you try that mix?

>> anger is a very intense emotion. so is love.

>> i love you so much.

>> reporter: whew! it's really getting personal. a little bit spooky. a little bit awesome. who knows where zoe might pop up one day.

>> watch out. i'm coming to new york.

>> announcer: live from studio 1a .

>> so one of the goals of this might be someday for you to be able to program in your own head, a talking head of yourself, which would then read whatever you type in to say. back to you guys.

>> do we really need that, michelle?

>> i don't know.

>> i like the angry one.

>> yeah. why did you wake