Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Interactive, Emotion-Detecting Robot Developed

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the uncanny-valley dept.

Robotics 58

cylonlover writes "A team of Cambridge University researchers have now developed a system that can not only detect a user's emotional state, but can also make expressive responses of its own. Using a robotic likeness of the godfather of the programmable computer, Charles Babbage, the team has hooked the system up to a driving simulator and created a computerized driving companion and navigator that reacts to the driver in much the same way as a human passenger."

cancel ×

58 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

*Yawn* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34750378)

Don't we get a story like this about once a year? Are they ever true?

Re:*Yawn* (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34750442)

Don't we get a story like this about once a year? Are they ever true?

You know what is definitely true?

Don't give black people Tootsie Rolls to eat. They'll bite their fingers off.

Re:*Yawn* (1)

2.7182 (819680) | more than 3 years ago | (#34750650)

Not sure about true, but not great science or engineering. It's a pity that the media can't distinguish between work like this as opposed to work by great people in robotics such as Michael Raibert or Andy Ruina. Compare this with big dog. [youtube.com] That's real engineering.

Re:*Yawn* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34750762)

Agreed! Big dog is quite impressive engineering. However, not as amazing as some other robots I have seen in my life: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzraVXP-5KQ

Re:*Yawn* (1)

jdpars (1480913) | more than 3 years ago | (#34750942)

For those who don't care to click the link, AC just said that a Battle Bot is more amazing than things such as Big Dog.

Sex-Bot (-1, Flamebait)

cosm (1072588) | more than 3 years ago | (#34750402)

I for one welcome our new robotic overlords, especially for sexual applications. And so does this [encycloped...matica.com] guy.

Re:Sex-Bot (1)

jdpars (1480913) | more than 3 years ago | (#34751174)

My god, I read that. From what I can tell, that guy was so awful there's truth in his ED story. That's pretty bad.

Great (2)

bobstreo (1320787) | more than 3 years ago | (#34750404)

Creepy dead-faced robotic backseat drivers.

Re:Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34750538)

Does it scream like my passengers?

Re:Great (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#34750694)

Does it scream like my passengers?

No. TF clip: the guy's "driving" on the wrong side of the road and the "mummy" on his left is, like, "good idea, let's try that".

Re:Great (1)

S1ngularity (1635987) | more than 3 years ago | (#34751296)

But will it get me into the carpool lane?

Why? (1)

RightwingNutjob (1302813) | more than 3 years ago | (#34750428)

Are human beings really that incapable of mental abstraction that they need some anthropomorphic gizmo telling them the same thing a normal machine can do, but with 10x the development cost?

Re:Why? (3, Insightful)

oztiks (921504) | more than 3 years ago | (#34750772)

We cant even get voice recognition to work because of tonal changes and ascents.

Recently an article was published talking about the human synapse which describes it far as more complex than original thought. See http://www.medicaldaily.com/news/20101117/3877/new-imaging-method-developed-at-stanford-reveals-stunning-details-of-brain-connections.htm [medicaldaily.com]

I recon we should start focusing creating LtCmdr Data before we progress on figuring out how to build Lore.

Because... (2)

Richard Kirk (535523) | more than 3 years ago | (#34752112)

I don't think the eventual aim of this work is to have a talking head of Charles Babbage on your computer. The aim is to understand the nature of subliminal communications, and the first stage of doing that is by direct mimicry using an accurate dummy.

So, what's this got to do with computer interfaces? Well, when most people get annoyed with their computer, they shout at the screen. Why? If the system has locked up, then the error happened in the CPU or the GPU which both sit in the body of the machine unless you have an Apple. Nevertheless, we seem to take the screen of a computer as the 'face' of the machine, and it is the 'natural' target for our gestures and expressions. We are probably making expressions at our computer much of the time. Many laptops have built-in cameras that could pick up these expressions. At the moment, we are doing nothing with this information, but one day we might. The idea that ordinary computers will transmit expressions back at us is a bit more far-fetched, but Japanese companies are looking at using robots for receptionists and ticket sellers, and other jobs where rapid and seamless low-level interaction with a lot of people is needed.

Re:Because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34752584)

Oh, hear, hear. I've beat several keyboards out of existence with my fist, the keyboard being the closest thing within striking range that's connected to a copy of Dragon NaturallySpeaking.

Maybe if Dragon could see how much it's pissing me off, it wouldn't act up. At least if it has any fraternal liking for the keyboard...

Re:Why? (4, Funny)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 3 years ago | (#34752498)

No, we need hidden sensors in our glasses capable of telling us secret things that we cannot detect in the real world:

"She's being sarcastic, she didn't really mean that."

"She's really mad, even if she says she ain't"

"By 'nothing' she meant you did a major screw-up"

etc

Re:Why? (1)

TheL0ser (1955440) | more than 3 years ago | (#34754812)

Whoever invents that will be the richest person in the world.

Or assassinated by about 51% of the population, who likes that no one knows what they mean.

FALSE (1)

MichaelKristopeit353 (1968162) | more than 3 years ago | (#34750432)

the robot could only possibly detect the emotion state presented by the user, which is not necessarily the user's true emotional state.

learn some quantum logic, cambridge... and maybe stop ignoring the arts and read a few books on ACTING.

slashdot = cambridge = stagnated.

Re:See YA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34751766)

I thought we told you to GO AWAY!

Re:See YA! (1)

MichaelKristopeit351 (1968158) | more than 3 years ago | (#34754836)

who is "we"?

you are NOTHING.

you obviously can't make me leave.

why do you cower? what are you afraid of?

you're completely pathetic.

Has author never used computers? (2)

scdeimos (632778) | more than 3 years ago | (#34750462)

From TFA:

Voice recognition software is now quite a capable means of entering information into a computer system.

guffaw.

Still, where do I get two of these bots from so I can use the T3 lanes on the way to work in the morning?

Re:Has author never used computers? (1)

lenroc (632180) | more than 3 years ago | (#34750726)

From TFA:

Voice recognition software is now quite a capable means of entering information into a computer system.

guffaw.

You guffaw, but I entered this comment with voice recognition.

Dear aunt, let’s set so double the killer delete select all

er.... oops?

Re:Has author never used computers? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#34750728)

guffaw.

Still, where do I get two of these bots from so I can use the T3 lanes on the way to work in the morning?

Lots of places on the Internet [racy.com] .

Re:Has author never used computers? (4, Interesting)

Dhalka226 (559740) | more than 3 years ago | (#34750758)

I have what would be described in science as a "fucking awful" voice. I remember playing with some VR technology a few years back and I couldn't even make it through the training. I adjusted my mic and everything like it asked and then got to the prompts: "Say 'dog.'" "Dog." "You said 'b93r.' Say 'dog.'" After six or seven tries of that kind of nonsense I pretty much gave up.

I was actually playing with a copy of Dragon Naturally Speaking a month or two ago and was surprised by how good it was. I could tell it was struggling with my voice; the instructions at the start of the training said that most people wouldn't need to read the whole story for the training to be comfortable, and I had to go all the way through and more, but it was pretty good. It could recognize whole sentences at a time, whereas previous technology couldn't even manage words. I finished up the training and busted open Word to give it a try (I could have trained it further but I was just playing with it) and it was very accurate. And this, quite obviously, is with a voice that gives VR technology fits and a general vocabulary where it couldn't even attempt to muff the results by choosing from known word lists.

I have little trouble believing that with a bit more training and a little more user training on my part (working to enunciate a little better, etc) that it could be a very capable means of entering information. Doubly so if the information I'm entering is predictable such that it has (for lack of a better term) a smaller dictionary to guess from.

VR is probably pitiful compared to where we thought we would be in 2010 years ago, but it's actually getting to be quite respectable.

Re:Has author never used computers? (1)

scdeimos (632778) | more than 3 years ago | (#34751298)

Speaker-dependant speech recognition software can do reasonably well, given enough training as you have mentioned. Speaker-independent speech recognition software, on the other hand, is still very much in its infancy.

One of the telcos in our country, Telstra, has rolled out a service that I'd like to opt-out of... voicemail to SMS. If you miss a call, instead of a voicemail being recorded for you to listen to later on, a computer answers the call and gives the speaker 10 seconds to state their business with the results being SMSd to you (in text format). The quality of speech-to-text in this deployment is so often random gibberish, requiring you to call the person back to find out why they called in the first place. At least the caller's phone number is included.

Re:Has author never used computers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34753108)

Well I, for one, am terribly curious as to what your voice sounds like. Forgive me if I seem to make light of a potentially more somber situation, but i can't help but hear Yosemite Sam in my mind. Is yours akin to said characters speech?

Re:Has author never used computers? (1)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 3 years ago | (#34754444)

Yep I have the same problem.
I emigrated to the US from England about 8 years ago so have an English accent. I don't believe I have a strong UK regional accent, as British regional accents go, my home area (south west) is probably nearest to 'generic' BBC English. Yet still most voice recognition software can't figure me out. Personally I find products like Dragon more effort than they are worh so avoid them ( I can type faster anyway) but its getting ever harder to avoid those very annoying corporate phone menu systems can't understand me at all, until I use a very exaggerated whiney American accent, then they work just fine.

Re:Has author never used computers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34761044)

Please don't abbreviate that as VR. VR normally stands for virtual reality.

stamping part (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34750542)

stamping part www.stampingpart-cn.com

Fear (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34750628)

How long before it can smell fear?

Without reading the article... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34750636)

I comment this...

Twilight Zone episode, "I Sing the Body Electric".

#Log (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34750686)

Emotion Status: Detected
Target Status: Human
Run file: KILL

Disney Mr. Potato Head comes to mind... (1)

Wingit (98136) | more than 3 years ago | (#34750722)

Disney has a lead on this and their work looks good to me. They have Mr. Potato-head that recognizes people and their interactions then reacts accordingly. It is leading edge stuff but it has been going on for quite some time.

Charles Babbage? WTF? (1)

mmmmbeer (107215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34750750)

If you're going to make a robotic person, it should look like Summer Glau. Come on, people!

Re:Charles Babbage? WTF? (1)

makubesu (1910402) | more than 3 years ago | (#34751518)

Using a robotic likeness of the godfather
I thought they should've stopped there and rolled with it.

Re:Charles Babbage? WTF? (1)

Eudial (590661) | more than 3 years ago | (#34751972)

I think he's a good choice, being a bit of an eccentric jerk type of guy. I quote wikipedia:

'Babbage's distaste for commoners ("the Mob") included writing "Observations of Street Nuisances" in 1864, as well as tallying up 165 "nuisances" over a period of 80 days. He especially hated street music, and in particular the music of organ grinders, against whom he railed in various venues. The following quotation is typical:

It is difficult to estimate the misery inflicted upon thousands of persons, and the absolute pecuniary penalty imposed upon multitudes of intellectual workers by the loss of their time, destroyed by organ-grinders and other similar nuisances.

Re:Charles Babbage? WTF? (1)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 3 years ago | (#34753128)

Wow, so even back then we understood the concept of "flow" / "zone". Wish my co-workers could!

Re:Charles Babbage? WTF? (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34756246)

Or at least make it look like Ada Lovelace (no relation to Linda Lovelace).

Can it detect... (1)

Exclamation mark! (1961328) | more than 3 years ago | (#34750828)

... the "Oh!" face? How does it react to that?

Brain the size of a planet... (1)

cain (14472) | more than 3 years ago | (#34750882)

        Now the world has gone to bed
        Darkness won't engulf my head
        I can see by infra-red
        How I hate the night

        Now I lay me down to sleep
        Try to count electric sheep
        Sweet dream wishes you can keep
        How I hate the night

Re:Brain the size of a planet... (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 3 years ago | (#34752084)

It's extremely bad manners to quote that poem without giving attribution to the author, Douglas Adams.

Re:Brain the size of a planet... (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#34754188)

Everyone here knows where that came from, and if they don't, they're probably at the wrong website.

Re:Brain the size of a planet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34760498)

You haven't noticed the influx of new posters with abnormally presented perspectives. /. is on the move. If we want our culture to survive and not be displaced by those that see value in pinging the depths we will need more citations and less whooshing.

A pain, I know. The alternative is being overrun. This is the opposite of Eternal September, but it still doesn't mean they know how to hack.

I for one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34750952)

welcome our new interactive, emotion detecting robot overloards?

Emoticons? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34751050)

Did anyone else read that as "Emoticon-Detecting"? First thing I though was...did somebody just discover regexps?

Microexpressions (1)

Feinu (1956378) | more than 3 years ago | (#34751428)

From TFA:

They developed a computer system that tracks feature points on a user's face via a camera and then compares the input with entries in a database of hundreds of predefined mental states to interpret the combinations of gestures as emotions.

Could this be used to analyse microexpressions [wikipedia.org] ? Microexpression analysis has significant potential for improving lie detector tests beyond simple polygraphs.

am deeply... (1)

dogganos (901230) | more than 3 years ago | (#34751846)

...unimpressed...

Turing, meet Maori (1)

mojotoad (78874) | more than 3 years ago | (#34751950)

Seriously. One of the subsets of the Turing Test should be how the system responds to a 'typical' Maori war dance (we'll even allow the All-Blacks as performers of the ritual), without any pedagogical knowledge of the Maori.

You know, be a diplomat. Or, god forbid, a missionary. That's worked out pretty well for lots of intelligences (the human kind, of a sort).

carpool lanes (1)

zaNergal (1954564) | more than 3 years ago | (#34752096)

But officer, I have three digital driving companions installed in my car, what do you mean "I can't use the carpool lane".

Strange choice of representation (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 3 years ago | (#34752110)

Fine, they want to use Charles Babbage. I have no problem with that. But WHY in the world would they choose to portray an old Charles Babbage? Would not a younger version of him be just as accurate? (Not to mention the nasty waxy smooth skin... but that's another matter.)

great, an artificial back seat driver (1)

nickmalthus (972450) | more than 3 years ago | (#34752502)

When I die I want to die peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather, not screaming like the artificial driving companion in his car.

Oh, interactive ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34753790)

... I first read "attractive" which for some reason reminded me of the episode when Dilbert fell in love with his cellphone:

http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2009-03-10/

Damn! (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34756234)

If only someone had told me about these BEFORE I got married!

Really? (1)

adampub (1969724) | more than 3 years ago | (#34764256)

Huh, I am surprised at this. I am only an early engineer, doing a research project for my class, but I know a little more about this stuff than most others, and I don't understand how it is reading the emotions of the other humans interacting with it. Is it a combination of voice and the muscles in the face? Or just one of the two?

Terminator (1)

DarthVain (724186) | more than 3 years ago | (#34767938)

Emotion-Detecting Robot Developed eh? What could possibly go wrong?

10 Detect Emotion
20 Kill
30 GOTO 10

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?