Stacy Marsella: “Modelling Emotion and its Expression”

June 17, 2010 | Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA

Speaker: Stacy Marsella, ICT
Host: Carnegie Mellon University

Emotion and its expression play a powerful role in shaping human behavior. As research has revealed the details of emotion’s role, researchers and developers increasingly have sought to exploit these details in a range of applications. Work in human-computer interaction has sought to infer and influence a user’s emotional state as a way to improve the interaction. Tutoring systems, health interventions and training applications have sought to regulate or induce specific, often quite different, emotional states in learners in order to improve learning outcomes. A related trend in HCI work is the use of emotions and emotional displays in virtual characters that interact with users in order to motivate, engender empathy, induce trust or simply arouse.

Common to many of these applications is the need for computational models of the causes and consequences of emotions. To the extent that emotion’s impact on behavior can be modeled correctly in artificial systems, it can facilitate interactions between computer systems and human users. In this talk, I will give an overview of some of the applications that seek to infer and influence a user’s emotions. I will then go into detail on how emotions can be modeled computationally, including the theoretical basis of the models, how we validate models against human data and how human data are also used to inform the animation of virtual characters.