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Title: Emotional recognition in computing
Authors: Axelrod, Lesley Ann
Advisors: Hone, KS
Love, S
Keywords: Affective computing;Human computer interaction;Human-centred technology;Nonverbal behaviour analysis;Emotional communication
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: Brunel University, School of Information Systems, Computing and Mathematics
Abstract: Emotions are fundamental to human lives and decision-making. Understanding and expression of emotional feeling between people forms an intricate web. This complex interactional phenomena, is a hot topic for research, as new techniques such as brain imaging give us insights about how emotions are tied to human functions. Communication of emotions is mixed with communication of other types of information (such as factual details) and emotions can be consciously or unconsciously displayed. Affective computer systems, using sensors for emotion recognition and able to make emotive responses are under development. The increased potential for emotional interaction with products and services, in many domains, is generating much interest. Emotionally enhanced systems have potential to improve human computer interaction and so to improve how systems are used and what they can deliver. They may also have adverse implications such as creating systems capable of emotional manipulation of users. Affective systems are in their infancy and lack human complexity and capability. This makes it difficult to assess whether human interaction with such systems will actually prove beneficial or desirable to users. By using experimental design, a Wizard of Oz methodology and a game that appeared to respond to the user’s emotional signals with human-like capability, I tested user experience and reactions to a system that appeared affective. To assess users’ behaviour, I developed a novel affective behaviour coding system called ‘affectemes’. I found significant gains in user satisfaction and performance when using an affective system. Those believing the system responded to emotional signals blinked more frequently. If the machine failed to respond to their emotional signals, they increased their efforts to convey emotion, which might be an attempt to ‘repair’ the interaction. This work highlights how very complex and difficult it is to design and evaluate affective systems. I identify many issues for future work, including the unconscious nature of emotions and how they are recognised and displayed with affective systems; issues about the power of emotionally interactive systems and their evaluation; and critical ethical issues. These are important considerations for future design of systems that use emotion recognition in computing.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and awarded by Brunel University 8/4/2010.
Appears in Collections:Computer Science
Dept of Computer Science Theses

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