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November 28, 2011

New Software Can Detect Human Emotion

By Michelle Amodio, TMCnet Contributor

News of this ilk puts Facebook’s (News - Alert) facial recognition technology to shame. Apparently there is developing software that can read your emotions, news reports are saying. Maybe a protocol droid like C-3PO is not a far off idea?

David Grill, a professor in Universidad Carlos III de Madrid's Computer Science Department and one of the computer system’s creators, explained that this new machine can adapt dialogue and responses to a person's emotional state.

He said the development was prompted by emotions that people commonly feel when talking to a machine, namely anger, boredom and doubt, so that these problems could be alleviated.

"Thanks to this new development, the machine will be able to determine how the user feels (emotions) and how s/he intends to continue the dialogue (intentions)," he told the Journal on Advances in Signal Processing.

To detect the user's emotional state, the scientists focused on negative emotions that can make talking with an automatic system frustrating. Specifically, their work considered anger, boredom and doubt.

To detect these feelings automatically, information regarding the tone of voice, the speed of speech, the duration of pauses, the energy of the voice signal and so on, up to a total of sixty different acoustic parameters, was used.

Last year, researchers from the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid's Facultad de Informática developed a computer program that was also capable of human emotion recognition from automated voice analysis.

Used as an application, it is able to identify the emotions hidden in an expression and determine whether the speaker is sad, happy or nervous.

The application is based on a new tool called RFuzzy, implemented in the Prolog programming language. Prolog is able to represent and operate with what is known as fuzzy logic. Prolog is used primarily in artificial intelligence and expert systems applications.


Michelle Amodio is a TMCnet contributor. She has helped promote companies and groups in all industries, from technology to banking to professional roller derby. She holds a bachelor's degree in Writing from Endicott College and currently works in marketing, journalism, and public relations as a freelancer.

Edited by Rich Steeves
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