What is Affective Computing?

Affective computing is the idea that humans can program machines to recognize, interpret, process, and simulate the range of human emotions. This concept centers on the development of programs and hardware that create the faculties for a computer to do this, such as implementing a video camera to capture facial cues and gestures that works in conjunction with an algorithm that can detect and interpret these human affects. Not to be confused with facial recognition technologies associated with security, like those that facilitate secure payment transactions, affective computers recognize emotional and behavioral cues that trigger a reactionary process in the computer. A potential application of affective computing is in online learning situations wherein a computerized tutor reacts to facial cues of boredom in a student in an effort to motivate or boost their confidence. With researchers already working on educational applications, and start-up companies exploring other novel uses, growth in the field of affective computing has deep implications for the future of human and computer interactions.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • - martin.claesson martin.claesson Nov 17, 2016 This is definitely one for the future. Not sure what will happen in the next five years but it surely impact our use of technology in all areas. Any human-like interaction will affect our position to the digital tool. An AI can not function properly without being able to work with human emotions, until then it's just computation. Learning and discovery are emotional processes after all. I can recall the final episode of Halt and Catch Fire Season 1 when after removing the human like OS to facilitate more data power in the computer they are marketing Lee Pace's character walks into a room where Apple's Macintosh is displayed. He realizes that even though his recent actions could provide a sales success it is just a temporary illusion and that he's already severly beaten. I think summarizes what he has just experienced by whispering to himself "It talks...", and then walks away.- lars.lingman lars.lingman Nov 17, 2016
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(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

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(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on teaching, learning, or creative inquiry?

  • - martin.claesson martin.claesson Nov 17, 2016 I believe that when this technology is more developed and refined (not in the next five years) it will change everything. The teaching profession will change and combined with AI and big data you'll have much of the knowledge part covered in school. This won't mean that teachers will be completely redudant, but they will need to change their game to make full use of the capabilites of digital technology.
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(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

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