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 Cloud technology: Dynamic certificates make cloud service providers more secure
15.01.2018 | Technische Universität München

nachricht New discovery could improve brain-like memory and computing
10.01.2018 | University of Minnesota

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Multifunctional Platform for the Delivery of Gene Therapeutics

22.01.2018 | Life Sciences

The world's most powerful acoustic tractor beam could pave the way for levitating humans

22.01.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Siberian scientists learned how to reduce harmful emissions from HPPs

22.01.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks