We all know the entertainment impact digital characters can have in movies, television, and video games, but what if we could also use these characters to better the real world? In our talk, we will discuss ways that digital characters, known formally as virtual humans, can change real people for the better. Virtual humans’ ability to simulate people allows them to be used in many situations when interacting with another person is difficult or impossible. As a result, virtual humans are currently being used to make real-world changes in a wide variety of fields. Some examples include communication skills training for medical professionals and healthcare interventions for at-risk populations. In addition to discussing our personal experiences with developing virtual humans for these fields, we will also discuss other application areas for virtual humans, such as personal finance and digital assistants, and the technical components needed to implement virtual human technology.