Affective Computing

“Affective computing is computing that relates to, arises from, or deliberately influences emotions”

Rosalind Picard, 1997

The Emote project (2012-2016)

 The Emote project (EMbOdied-perceptive Tutors for Empathy-based learning), was an  European funded (FP7- 317923) research project exploring empathy in virtual and robotic tutors. The project started in December 2012 and ended in March 2016.

In EMOTE we researched how robot tutors that respond to learners can offer a new and exciting approach to learning. Human teachers respond to a myriad of cues and a key aspect for the human teacher-learner experience is empathy. Now, with the advent of logo_emotesocial robotics, robot tutors will be able to do just that. We developed a new generation of robot tutors that empathise with children. We developed two applications to use with our robot tutors, in paricular a sustainable city multi-player game, where children learn about sustainability in the interaction with the empathic tutor (using the NAO robot).

The Humaine Network of Excellence (2004-2007)

Humaine (2004-2007) (Human-Machine Interaction Network on Emotion) was an EU-funded network of excellence (FP6-507422) that made a coordinated effort to come to a shared understanding of the issues involved in the area of affective computing and to propose exemplary research methods in the various areas. The coordinator of the network was Prof. Rodie Cowie (University of Belfast).

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There were some core technologies in the network, ranging from application-oriented and psychologically oriented work to more affective signal processing, and artificial intelligence. As a result, the ACII conference became an established conference in the area and was organised in Lisbon in 2007. Also, the journal IEEE transactions on Affective Computing resulted from the Humaine network.

The Victec Project (2002-2005) 

Victec (2002-2005) (Virtual ICT with Empathic Characters) was a EU funded project (FP5-033310) in the 5th Framework Programme. The aim of the project was the creation of an anty-bullying software with intelligent agents to help children deal with the problem in schools. As a result, the first version of the FearNot! system was created. The project was coordinated by the University of Salford, UK, and had partners in the UK, Germany, and in Portugal (including the company AUTOR).

The Safira project (2000-2002) 

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Safira (2000-2002)  (Supporting Affective Interactions for Real-time Applications ) a EU funded project (FP5-011683) in the IST programme. SAFIRA was the first EU project in the area of Affective Computing and created a framework to enrich interactions and applications with an affective dimension. A set of basic demonstrators were created, showing the potential of such more humane systems: 2D and 3D virtual environments shared by synthetic characters and users, and ”anthropomorphized” personality-rich personal service assistant based applications.

The project was coordinated by me and had seven partners: Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, in the UK, DFKI and GMD in Germany, SICS in Sweden, ADETTI in Portugal and OFAI in Austria. Prof. Ana Paiva was the Prime Contractor and Principal Scientific Investigator (PI) of the SAFIRA project.