Events

Jonathan Gratch: “So she’s smiling, now what?”

March 11, 2011 | Santa Barbara, CA

Speaker: Jonathan Gratch
Host: 9th IEEE Conference on Automatic Face and Gesture Recognition (FG 2011)

Face and gesture research has made enormous progress in recognizing human nonverbal signals, but still faces important challenges in understanding the social meaning and significance of such cues. In this talk I will discuss a number of successes and some failures in using expression and gesture recognition techniques in a variety of human-human and human-computer social contexts. On the one hand, I will describe research on virtual humans (interactive digital characters) that can engage users in rich face-to-face interactions. I will describe evidence that endowing these artifacts with the ability to recognize and respond to human nonverbal cues has important social effects such as enhanced mutual understanding and persuasiveness. On the other hand, by facilitating the annotation of human nonverbal behavior, face and gesture research is revolutionizing the study of human social processes and providing new insights into theories of human social behavior. These two topics work hand-in-hand, as theories of human social processes have important implications, not only for the design of interactive virtual humans, but for face and gesture research as well. I will end by describing how social psychological theory, especially theories of emotion, has implications for research in the automatic recognition and understanding of human social signals.