16 July 2006

Emotionally aware computer designed to read people’s minds [Business Week]

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Emotions research
University of Cambridge professor Peter Robinson “has developed a ‘mind-reading’ computer that can interpret reactions and feelings by analyzing a person’s facial movements” (see research project website), writes Mark Scott in Business Week.

“Developed in conjunction with researchers at [the Affective Computing group of the] Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the computer uses a camera to capture people’s facial expressions and then applies sophisticated pattern-matching technology to recognize emotions ranging from confusion to concentration.”

According to the author, “automakers, online retailers, and teachers are interested in the potential commercial and educational benefits of the mind-reading computer, which could enable the use of more personalized and adaptive products, services, and learning experiences,” although there are some serious privacy concerns about the increased collection of personal information this technology implies.

Read full story
– Related articles: BBC News, BBC Radio 4 (mp3, 13.6 mb, 14’51), Daily Telegraph, Reuters, Times Online

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