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Computation of Emotions in Man and Machines

Event

April
202009

09:00 - 17:00

Location

The Royal Society, London, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AG

Overview

Organised by Professor Peter Robinson and Dr Rana el Kaliouby

Charles Darwin highlighted the importance of emotional expression as part of human communication. Advances in computer technology now allow machines to recognise and express emotions, paving the way for improved human-computer and human-human communications.

This meeting will present recent advances in neuroscience, theories of emotion and affect, their embodiment in computational systems, the implications for general communications, and broader applications.

The discussion meeting runs from 9am to 5pm on each day. The registration desk will open at 8.30am on each day.

The meeting programme and book of abstracts is available below. The audio recordings of the meeting are available below.

The proceedings of this meeting are scheduled to be published in a future publication of Philosophical Transactions B.

Event organisers

Select an organiser for more information

Schedule of talks

Session 1

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Darwin's forecast about facial expression

Professor Paul Ekman

Abstract

Paul Ekman PhD has been studying facial expression, body movement, emotion and deception for more than forty years. He is professor emeritus of psychology at the University of California, San Francisco. He has authored or edited fifteen books, most recently Emotions Revealed 2007, and co authored with the Dalai Lama Emotional Awareness, 2008. Ekman and his associates provide online training on how to recognize concealed emotions in micro expressions, and classroom courses on Evaluating Truthfulness and Emotional Skills (www.paulekman.com). Users include federal and local law enforcement, national security, corporate sales and negotiators, and health professionals. He has received honorary degrees from the University of Chicago and the University of Geneva, and the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the American Psychological Association. Currently he is the scientific adviser to a dramatic television series on FoxTV, Lie To Me, which is largely based on his research

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The role of the face in social interactions

Professor Chris Frith

Abstract

Christopher D. Frith FRS FBA is Emeritus Professor of Neuropsychology in the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging at University College, London, and Niels Bohr Visiting Professor in the Interacting Minds project at the University of Aarhus, Denmark. He is one of the pioneers in applying brain imaging to the study of mental processes. He is known especially for his work on agency, social intelligence, and understanding the minds of people with autism and schizophrenia

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Emotions are emergent processes. They require a dynamic computational architecture

Professor Klaus Scherer

Abstract

Professor Klaus R. Scherer is the Director of the Swiss Center for Affective Science, a National Competence Center in Research, at the University of Geneva. He studied in Cologne and the LSE, received his Ph.D. from Harvard, and taught at the universities of Kiel, Giessen, and Geneva. His research covers emotion, stress, personality, and communication, including applications in human resources and affective computing. He has developed the Componential Process Model of emotion and has published, with a large group of collaborators, a sizeable number of articles and chapters on theoretical issues and empirical evidence for the theory using sophisticated assessment of emotional expressions in face and voice, psychophysiological symptoms, and brain electric signals. He is a fellow of the American Psychological Society, the Association for Psychological Science, the Acoustical Society of America, and a foreign member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He currently holds an ERC Advanced Grant on "Production and Perception of Emotion".

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Affective loop experiences - designing for interactional embodiment

Professor Kristina Höök

Abstract

Professor Kristina Höök is a full professor at the Department of Computer and Systems Science, Stockholm University/KTH since February 2003. She leads the Mobile Life Center and upholds a part-time position at Swedish Institute of Computer Science (SICS).

The focus of her group is on social and affective interaction, narrative intelligence, in mobile settings. Methodwise, she works from user-centred design perspective.  Höök and her research group have been exploring the idea of involving users both physically and cognitively in what they name an affective loop. The idea of an affective loop is for users to step by step interpret, become influenced, imitate and be involved with an (computer or mobile) application, both physically and cognitively.  Höök and her group has created several demos that embody the affective loop idea.

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Session 1 Discussion

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Session 2

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Effects of damping facial expression in dyadic conversation using real-time facial expression tracking and synthesised avatars

Professor Jeffrey Cohn

Abstract

Jeffrey Cohn, PhD, Professor of Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh and Adjunct Faculty at the Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Institute.   He has led interdisciplinary and inter-institutional efforts to develop advanced methods of automatic analysis of facial expression and prosody; and applied these tools to research in human emotion, social development, non-verbal communication, psychopathology, biomedicine, and biometrics. He is Co-chair of the 2008 IEEE International Conference on Automatic Face and Gesture Recognition, Co-chair of the 2009 International Conference on Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction, and Guest Co-Editor of the Special Issue on Spontaneous Behavior, Journal of Image and Vision Computing.

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The face is not a canvas: How facial expressions interact with facial appearance

Professor Ursula Hess

Abstract

Ursula Hess is professor of psychology at the University of Quebec at Montreal. She earned her Ph.D. in psychology in 1989 at Dartmouth College and did a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Geneva. He research centers on the communication of emotions, in particular, on the social factors that influence this process such as gender and intergroup relations. One line of research investigates the influence of facial appearance on the perception of emotions in men and women as well as individuals of different age. Another line of research focuses on emotion communication as a function of the ingroup versus outgroup status of the interaction partner.

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Advances in machine analysis of facial behaviour: Dynamic and spontaneous facial expressions

Professor Maja Pantic

Abstract

Maja Pantic received the M.S.  and PhD degrees in computer science from Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands, in 1997 and 2001.  From 2001 to 2005, she was an Assistant and then an Associate professor at the Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science at Delft University of Technology. In 2006, she joined the Imperial College London, Department of Computing, UK, where she is a Reader in Multimodal HCI and head of the HCI^2 group, working on machine analysis of human non-verbal behaviour and its applications to HCI.  From November 2006, she also holds an appointment as the Professor of Affective & Behavioural Computing in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Twente, the Netherlands.

In 2002, for her research on Facial Information for Advanced Interface (FIFAI), she received Innovational Research Award of Dutch Research Council as one of the 7 best young scientists in exact sciences in the Netherlands. In 2007, for her research on Machine Analysis of Human Naturalistic Behavior (MAHNOB), she received European Research Council Starting Grant as one of 2,5% best junior scientists in any research field in Europe. She is also a partner in several FP6 and FP7 European projects, including the Social Signals Processing NoE (SSPNet), for which she is the scientific director.  She is the Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics - Part B: Cybernetics (IEEE TSMC-B), the Image and Vision Computing Journal (IVCJ), and the Computing Journal. She was the Guest Editor of several Special Issues in the renowned journals, and she is the chair and co-chair of various workshops and symposia including the IEEE Int'l Conf. Automatic Face and Gesture Recognition 2008 and the Int'l Conf. Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction 2009. She published more than 90 research papers on machine analysis of human behavior, has more than 1000 citations to her work, and served on the organization and program committees of numerous conferences in this area.

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Emotional expression in whole bodies

Professor Beatrice de Gelder

Abstract

Beatrice de Gelder is currently Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience and Director of the Laboratory of Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience at Tilburg University , NL. She is also a  Senior Scientist at the Martinos Centre for Neuromagnetic Resonance, MGH-Charlestown, Harvard Medical School. She is mainly involved in research on visual cognition and emotion. Her research explores face recognition and its disorders, associations between different sensory systems, primarily the relation between seeing and hearing and on how emotion and cognition interact in the intact and lesioned brain. Behavioral, neuropsychological and brainimaging methods are used in an integrated fashion. Recent projects concern recognition of personal identity and emotional expression and their interaction in neurologically intact observers as well as in autistic and schizophrenic patients. De Gelder also carries out research on the ability of patients with striate cortex lesions to identify the emotional meaning of visual stimuli of which they are not aware and discovered non-conscious recognition of facial expressions (affective blindsight), an aspect of residual visual abilities previously not deemed possible in these patients. Other research is concerned with the role of naturalistic contexts and scenes on face recognition and face memory in normals and Alzheimer patients. A recent  new area of research is recognition of emotion from whole body postures and movements (Nature Reviews Neuroscience 2006) that promises a fruitful new approach to understanding the links between emotion and action understanding.

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Session 2 Discussion

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Session 3

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Enhancing emotion recognition in children with autism spectrum conditions

Simon Baron-Cohen

Abstract

Simon Baron-Cohen is Professor of Developmental Psychopathology at the University of Cambridge and Fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge. He is Director of the Autism Research Centre (ARC) in Cambridge (www.autismresearchcentre.com). He holds degrees in Human Sciences from New College, Oxford, a PhD in Psychology from UCL, and an M.Phil in Clinical Psychology at the Institute of Psychiatry. He held lectureships in both of these departments in London before moving to Cambridge in 1994.

He is author of Mindblindness (MIT Press, 1995), The Essential Difference (Penguin UK/Basic Books, 2003), and Prenatal Testosterone in Mind (MIT Press, 2005). He has edited a number of scholarly anthologies, including Understanding Other Minds (OUP, 1993, 2001), The Maladapted Mind (Erlbaum, 1997) and Synaesthesia (Blackwells, 1997). He has also written books for parents and teachers such as Autism and Asperger Syndrome: The Facts (OUP, 2008), and Teaching children with autism to mind read (Wiley, 1998). He is author of the DVD-ROM Mind Reading: an interactive guide to emotions (Jessica Kingsley Ltd, 2003) and The Transporters (www.thetransporters.com, 2007), an animation for preschool children with autism to help them learn emotion recognition. Both of these were nominated for BAFTA awards.

He has been awarded prizes from the American Psychological Association, the British Association for the Advancement of Science (BA), and the British Psychological Society (BPS) for his research into autism. For 2007 he was President of the Psychology Section of the BA, Vice President of the National Autistic Society, and received the 2006 Presidents' Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychological Knowledge from the BPS. He is a Fellow of the BPS and co-editor in chief of the new journal Molecular Autism. His current research is testing the extreme male brain' theory of autism at the neural, endocrine and genetic levels.

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Future affective technology for autism and emotion communication

Professor Rosalind Picard

Abstract

Rosalind W. Picard is founder and director of the Affective Computing Research Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Laboratory and is co-director of Things That Think, the largest industrial research consortium at the laboratory. She holds a Bachelors in Electrical Engineering with highest honors from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Masters and Doctorate degrees, both in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, from MIT. Prior to completing her doctorate at MIT, she was a Member of the Technical Staff at AT&T Bell Laboratories where she designed VLSI chips for digital signal processing and developed new methods of image compression and analysis.  She has been a member of the MIT faculty at the Media Laboratory since 1991.

The author of over a hundred peer-reviewed scientific articles in multidimensional signal modeling, computer vision, pattern recognition, machine learning, and human-computer interaction, Picard is known internationally for pioneering research in affective computing and, prior to that, for pioneering research in content-based image and video retrieval. Her articles are highly cited, and two have earned best paper prizes. Her award-winning book, _Affective Computing_, (MIT Press, 1997) lays the groundwork for giving machines the skills of emotional intelligence. She and her students have invented a variety of new sensors, algorithms, and systems for sensing, recognizing, and responding intelligently to human affective information, with applications in human and machine learning, health, and human-computer interaction.  Picard lives in Newton, MA with her husband and three sons.

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Perceiving emotion: Towards a realistic understanding of the task

Professor Roddy Cowie

Abstract

Roddy Cowie is professor of  Psychology at Queen's University of Belfast. His research studies matches and mismatches between rational reconstructions' of cognition, particularly computational modeling, and subjective aspects of human experience. His early work studied visual phenomena, including impossible objects, misperception of motion and reading errors. A related phenomenon, speechreading, led to research on acquired deafness, particularly the subjective experience it leads to, its effects on speech production, and the way those effects are perceived. In the last decade he has focused on emotion and computing, and several of his papers and collections are landmarks in the area. His research in the areas has been funded by a series of projects, including Oresteia, ERMIS, SEMAINE, and SSPnet. He co-ordinated the HUMAINE network of excellence (2004-07), and is president of the HUMAINE Association, an international organisation for affective computing.

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Robots as social learners

Professor Cynthia Breazeal

Abstract

Cynthia Breazeal is an Associate Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she founded and directs the Personal Robots Group at the Media Lab. She is a pioneer of Social Robotics and Human Robot Interaction (HRI). She has authored the book "Designing Sociable Robots" and has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles on autonomous robots, artificial intelligence, social robots, human-robot interaction, and robot learning. She has been awarded an ONR Young Investigator Award, honored as finalist in the National Design Awards in Communication, and recognized as a prominent young innovator in Technology Review's TR35 (formerly the TR100) awards. She received her Sc.D in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT in 2000.
 
Her research program focuses on developing the principles, techniques, and technologies for personal robots. She has developed numerous robotic creatures ranging from small hexapod robots, to embedding robotic technologies into familiar everyday artifacts such as clothing, to creating highly expressive humanoid robots. Ongoing research includes the development of socially intelligent robot partners that interact with humans in human-centric terms, work with humans as peers, and learn from people as an apprentice. Other projects explore how HRI can be applied to enhance human behavior as applied to motor learning, healthcare, learning, and cognitive performance. 

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Session 3 Discussion

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Session 4

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Modelling multi-modal expression of emotion in a virtual agent

Professor Catherine Pelachaud

Abstract

Catherine Pelachaud is a research director at CNRS, TELECOM ParisTech.  She received her PhD in Computer Graphics at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA in 1991. Her research interest includes representation language for agent, embodied conversational agent, nonverbal communication (face, gaze, and gesture), emotion, expressive behaviors and multimodal interfaces. She has been involved in several European projects related to multimodal communication (EAGLES, IST-ISLE) and to believable embodied conversational agents (IST-MagiCster). She participated to the Network of Excellence HUMAINE and coordinates the workpackage entitled emotion in interaction'. She is currently participating to the IP CALLAS on emotion-aware services, STREP SEMAINE on feedback model and NoE SSPNet on social behaviors.

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Place illusion and plausibility in virtual environments

Professor Mel Slater

Abstract

Mel Slater became an ICREA  Research Professor in Barcelona in January 2006, and is in the Faculty of Psychology at the University of Barcelona. He became Professor of Virtual Environments at University College London in 1997 in the Department of Computer Science. He was a UK EPSRC Senior Research Fellow from 1999 to 2004 at UCL, during which time he worked on the virtual light field approach to computer graphics, and he set up the virtual reality Cave system at UCL. Twenty two of his PhD students have obtained their PhDs since 1989. In 2005 he was awarded the Virtual Reality Career Award by IEEE Virtual Reality In Recognition of Seminal Achievements in Engineering Virtual Reality.' He currently leads the PRESENCCIA European Integrated Project funded under the 6th Framework Future and Emerging Technologies programme, and has recently been awarded a Senior ERC grant entitled Transcending Reality: Activating Virtual Environment Responses through Sensory Enrichment (TRAVERSE)'. In Barcelona he co-leads the Experimental Virtual Environments lab for Neuroscience and Technology (www.event-lab.org). His main work is in the area of understanding how people respond to experiences in immersive virtual environments and associated technology in computer graphics and human-computer interaction.

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Promoting motivation through anthropomorphic interface agents

Professor Amy Baylor

Abstract

Dr. Amy L. Baylor is currently on assignment as Lead Program Director of Human-Centered Computing at the National Science Foundation in Arlington Virginia. She is an Associate Professor of Instructional Systems and Information Technology at Florida State University, where she is also the Founder/Director of the Center for Research of Innovative Technologies for Learning (RITL). She has published extensively with respect to social and affective computing, virtual humans, anthropomorphic and multi-modal interfaces, metacognitive support tools, and advanced technologies for learning and motivation.

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Design for emotion (among other things)

Professor Bill Gaver

Abstract

William Gaver is Professor of Design and leads the Interaction Research Studio at Goldsmiths, University of London. He has pursued research on innovative technologies for over 20 years, following a trajectory that led from experimental psychology to design. His research focuses on design-led methodologies and innovative technologies for everyday life. With his group, he has developed approaches to design ranging from Cultural Probes to the use of documentary film to help assess peoples' experience with designs, pursued conceptual work on topics such as ambiguity and interpretation, and produced highly-fashioned prototypes that have been deployed for long-term field trials and exhibited in major international exhibitions at venues. Current work includes a New Dynamics of Aging project that explores how digital technologies can enhance the lives of older people, and a new European Research Council project on Third Wave HCI'

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Session Discussion 4

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Computation of Emotions in Man and Machines The Royal Society, London 6-9 Carlton House Terrace London SW1Y 5AG UK