Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Computers that understand how you feel

A navigation system able to provide emergency services with the quickest route while at the same time taking stress into account; this is an example of a new type of dialogue system developed by PhD candidate Trung Bui of the University of Twente. His dialogue system recognizes the user’s emotions and is able to react to them.

Dialogue systems are computer systems which communicate with humans and which are used especially for information provision such as in the speaking computer that provides travel information. Normally these computers do not take human emotions into account even though this is an important component of human interaction.

The problem with human emotions is that they are often difficult to interpret, and that is especially so for a computer. Raising one’s voice can, for example, indicate enthusiasm but it can also be a sign of anger. We require extra information to be sure which of the two emotions is present. Human beings are trained to combine various types of information (which may be quite vague) and still be able to draw the correct conclusions. Dealing with uncertainties is however difficult to program into computer software.

Taking emotions into account

Bui developed a dialogue system that – unlike others – could take emotions into account. To do this, he used a mathematical technique developed in the 1960s for controlling factory processes called Partially Observable Markov Decision Process (POMDP). He demonstrated that this technique was suitable for integrating the user’s emotions into a dialogue system because it could deal with uncertainties. The method performs better than existing systems as long as it is tested with small-scale dialogue problems. However, for larger problems the method requires too much calculating power. That is why Bui developed a hybrid strategy which combines the Dynamic Decision Network (DDN) technique with POMDP. In contrast to the latter, the DDN-POMDPs split dialogue systems into two levels. They make a choice between looking far ahead and seeing whether the necessary calculating power is available.

To illustrate the effectiveness of the DDN-POMDP, Bui applied it to a navigation system for emergency services that took the stress experienced by the user into account. The navigation system receives input from a separate stress module that measures an emergency worker’s stress levels, taking these into account when the user is in communication with the system. Whenever the user’s stress levels become raised, the system will anticipate, for example, that the user is more likely to make mistakes and for that reason will request confirmation more often.

Wiebe van der Veen | alfa
Further information:

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

First-time reconstruction of infectious bat influenza viruses

25.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Novel method to benchmark and improve the performance of protein measumeasurement techniques

25.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Amazon rain helps make more rain

25.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>