Artificial intelligence (AI) has been defined as the study of agents that receive percepts from the environment and perform actions. This is a perfectly good description, but it is notable that throughout the history of AI the overwhelming emphasis has been on thought and reason. An interest in emotional AI reflects an interest in machines that are able to use AI techniques to sense and 'feel-into' human emotional life.
See the Emotional AI project webpage for books, papers, industry-relevant reports, policy analysis, talk details and practical solutions on how to address emergent technological interest in emotional life.
We have a wide range of funded projects ongoing on Emotional AI lead by MPC member Andrew McStay. These include:
- Emotional AI in Cities: Cross Cultural Lessons from UK and Japan on Designing for An Ethical Life
- Cross-Cultural Conversation on Emotional AI: Japan and UK
- Rights of Childhood: Affective Computing and Data Protection
- Art installations on Emotional AI and facial coding
- Empathic Media: The Rise Of Emotion AI
Our engagement with stakeholders includes submissions to parliamentary inquiries (e.g. Datafied Bearbaiting and Emotional AI: Anticipating the Quantified Jeremy Kyle Show for DCMS UK Parliament Inquiry into Reality TV, May 2019; Emotion Recognition: Trends, Social Feeling, Policy (short briefing note here) for UK All Party Parliamentary Group on AI, 2020). It includes setting up an international technology standards group (e.g. a new group within the Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers to study emotional AI and technologies that simulate empathy). It also includes a Documentary on empathic media.