Poor Milo. Our virtual friend has been in our heart for about as long as Kinect (née Project Natal) has been in the public eye, always doodling, always playing with snail, rarely able to escape the confines of dark developer studio. When we talked to Milo's "father" Peter Molyneux at the last Engadget Show, he kept referencing this TED Talk demo he recently gave, and sure enough, video of that speech is now available online. The 11-minute presentation delves into a number of the setups / "magician's tricks" used to make Milo an interactive and at times empathetic character, and how natural voice recognition was implemented (thanks in part to Microsoft's TellMe database) so that the player isn't limited to simple yes and no responses. Curious about the moral ramifications of an artificial adolescent aggressive to mollusk? Definitely worth a look, as is our last Engadget Show episode if you missed it; video after the break.

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Peter Molyneux brings Milo, Kinect, and snails to the TED stage