Scientists set to make ‘emotional’ machines

A team of European researchers have embarked on a landmark study that could potentially pave the path to “emotional” machines which may interact with humans using voice.
“As our interactions with machines get more and more pervasive, it becomes harder and harder to ignore the emotional element. Taking it into account will become a routine part of computer science courses and computer development,” says Roddy Cowie, coordinator of the EU-funded Humaine project. In effect, machines that feel may no longer be confined to science fiction.
Humaine has set up teams from disciplines as different as philosophy, psychology and computer animation to create the building blocks or tools needed to give machines so-called soft skills in order to make human-machine interface more user-friendly.
“We have developed systems for recognising emotion using multiple modalities and this puts us very much at the leading edge of recognition technology,” says Cowie. PTI
Soon, a PC that can converse with you
Machines that feel and converse may no longer be confined to the realm of science fiction. Led by DFKI, the German centre for research on Artificial Intelligence, experts are developing a computer system that can interact with a human being by reacting to signals such as tone of voice. They plan to build a Sensitive Artificial Listener system, which will observe a user’s facial expression and voice and then connect with him. ANI