Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Computers Want To Know How You Feel

Experts have identified aggression towards the PC as a genuine problem that deserves greater attention in the academic field.

It would be good for computers to assess their users’ emotions correctly and respond accordingly.

The first question asked by scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research IGD in Rostock was: How can the computer possibly find out anything about its human operator’s frame of mind?

Emotions are given away by peripheral physiological processes. Some of these, such as posture, fidgeting or frowning, are easy to detect and can be observed and classified by a camera with image analysis software. Heartbeat and breathing rate, blood pressure, skin temperature and electrical resistance of the skin, on the other hand, are rather more subtle factors.

“We have developed a glove that has sensors for measuring parameters like these,” says Christian Peter, engineer at the department for Human-Centered Interaction Technologies. “It is connected to a device that evaluates and saves the data. We are also working on techniques that will enable computers to interpret facial expressions and extract emotional elements from voice signals.”

Computers Estimate Emotions


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