Future computers will talk and feel

Friday, 25 April 2008, 13:09 Hrs
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London: A computer that can interact with humans and react to their non-verbal gestures is being developed by a European team.

Known as SEMAINE, the project will build a sensitive artificial listener (SAL) system, which will perceive user's facial expression, gaze, and voice and then engage with the user.

When engaging with a human, the SAL will be able to adapt its own performance and pursue different actions, depending on the non-verbal behaviour of the user, reports Sciencedaily.

SEMAINE is led by DFKI, the German centre for research on artificial intelligence and partnered by Imperial College London, Universities of Paris, Twente in Holland and Technical University of Munich.

Roddy Cowie, of Queen's University Belfast, said: "A basic feature of human communication is that it is coloured by emotion. When we talk to another person, the words are carried on an undercurrent of signs that show them what attracts us, what bores us and so on.

"The fact that computers do not currently do this is one of the main reasons why communicating with them is so unlike interacting with a human. It is also one of the reasons we can find them so frustrating," he added.

"SEMAINE and projects like it will change the way people interact with technology. They mean that you will be talking to your computer in 20 years time. When you do, pause for a minute, and remember that the human sciences at Queen's helped to lay the groundwork," he added.
Source: IANS
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