Artificial Emotions


Nautilus (Photo credit: Lebatihem)

Artificial Emotions

Today an intriguing new magazine saw the light of day: Nautilus.

Nautilus is a different kind of science magazine. We deliver big-picture science by reporting on a single monthly topic from multiple perspectives.

The first issue poses the question What makes you so special? It deals with what it might mean to be human — and how we might or might not be unique. One of the stories in the first issue deals with Artificial Emotions – As it happens, I had a long conversation with the author of the story, Neil Savage. Some of that ended up in the article, among many quotes by some of my colleagues, reflecting on issues central to affective computing. And this is why it fits wonderfully with the topic of this blog.


Nautilus (Photo credit: Guilli F P)

Every time I discuss issues of artificial emotions with people, regardless of whether they are scientists, represent the media, or others who are simply curious about affective computing, there are certain topics that tend to come up again and again. One of my goals is to raise some of these over the course of the next weeks in this blog. For example

  • that we might require much less emotion than we think to feel that machines are/feel emotional.
  • How psychological theories might be misleading efforts to make machines emotion-savvy.
  • How the concept of emotions as such might not always be very useful at all in this context.

In the meanwhile – check out Neil’s article, it is an interesting read .— and I will check out the rest of Nautilus in the meanwhile

Having fun with a Nao


Having fun with a Nao

In the laboratory of Prof. Toyoaki Nishida, Kyoto University, Japan in August 2011. I am in a VR environment with infra-red motion capture. My movements are translated to the Nao Robot on the left side of the image.

My colleagues of the EMOTE project and I are designing, developing and evaluating a new generation of artificial embodied tutors that have perceptive capabilities to engage in empathic interactions with learners in a shared physical space. In the next couple of years I anticipate posting at irregular intervals also regarding the EMOTE project‘s progress.