Virtual Barack Obama and Mitt Romney created with Scots technology

Barack Obama, Adrian Chiles and the problem with referees
Barack Obama: Virtual 'talking head' created by Scots digital designers.

Computerised versions of US President Barack Obama and rival Mitt Romney have been created before the election on Tuesday.

The interactive characters were created by Cereproc, a company associated with the University of Edinburgh.

The talking heads are a combination of animation and the latest voice technology. As a result the speech generated imitates both of the presidential candidates.

Dr Matthew Aylett, of the University of Edinburgh's School of Informatics, said: "Although creating virtual presidential candidates was a bit of topical fun, this exercise also has a very real scientific objective.

"By using content, speech and images, we wish to create a sense of character that can be used in the future to make virtual people more engaging and improve their usability."

Cereproc previously created a similar online representation of President George W Bush known as the Bush-o-matic.

Americans go to the polls on Tuesday to decide if Mr Obama, a Democrat, will enjoy another four years in the White House or whether Republican Mitt Romney’s economic plans will propel him into the Oval Office.

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