In science fiction, robots have had emotions for a long time. The film Her celebrates the romantic relationship between a heartbroken Joaquin Phoenix and Samantha, his virtual assistant who has the capacity to develop “love” using artificial intelligence (AI). The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy makes numerous gags about the maudlin Marvin the Paranoid Android.
Thanks to recent breakthroughs in AI, emotional engagement with computers is going mainstream, and the reality is a lot different than the way it’s depicted in movies and books. Several industries are now employing virtual humans and AI that give real-time responses to the users’ emotional inputs.
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