Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Computers that understand how you feel

14.10.2008
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:
http://hmi.ewi.utwente.nl

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Five developments for improved data exploitation
19.04.2017 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI

nachricht Smart Manual Workstations Deliver More Flexible Production
04.04.2017 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA's Fermi catches gamma-ray flashes from tropical storms

25.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers invent process to make sustainable rubber, plastics

25.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Transfecting cells gently – the LZH presents a GNOME prototype at the Labvolution 2017

25.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>