Keywords: Affective Computing, Emotion Perception, Virtual Humans, Conversational Simulations
The advance of artificial intelligence technologies such as visual, auditory and linguistic processing systems coupled with interactive virtual humans has advanced the potential of affective computing beyond an academic curiosity or exploratory research to the level of a practical, yet still evolving technology which has shown to be an effective tool for clinical patient-facing applications, psychological assessments, and clinical training. This symposium provides an introduction to the technology and techniques of today’s affective computing from a variety of perspectives. These perspectives start with the viewpoint of a computer scientist who introduces the conceptual framework for recognition of expressions and emotions. The discussion continues with a clinical psychologist’s experiences employing user state sensing in novel patient-facing efforts with provocative virtual human interviewers. The third perspective is that of a physician who employs a variety of sensory modalities for clinical training simulations. We start with an overview of the technologies and techniques used to identify emotional cues. Psychological evaluations and interventions have been employed and the results from these efforts as well as lessons learned are reviewed. We also employ experiences with sensory assisted virtual patients to share insights into the practicality of each major sensing technology that feeds intelligent, judging virtual agents with dynamic emotionally informed behaviors. This variety of applications along with the combination of the three distinct perspectives will serve to provide a well-rounded introductory survey of the techniques, results and potential of today’s state of the art affective computing applications.