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PhD Course 2008/2009
Ana Paiva
Structure of the course
• Motivation.
– What is Affective Computing?
– Applications and Problems
• Perspectives on Emotions
– History of Affective Sciences
– Communication of Emotions
– Emotions and Neuroscience
– Appraisal Theories
• The Affective Computer
– Architecture and components
• Recognising Emotions and other Affective states

– Facial and Gesture Recognition

– Physiological signals
– Speech recognition
• Emotion Synthesis
• The expression of emotions in computers and
• Affective Computing, Rosalind Picard,
MIT Press, 1997
• Understanding Emotions, K. Oatley, D.
Keltner & J. Jenkins, Blackwell
Publishing, 2006
• Preparation and presentation of
one seminar on a specific topic
• Readings, summaries and
discussion done during the classes
• Project on Affective Computing
Affective Computing
Computing (rational)
Affect (non rational)

Affective Computing: a
• In Artificial Intelligence: In 1967 Herb Simon
emphasised that a general theory of thinking
and problem solving needs to consider and
incorporate the influences of emotion.
• In HCI: The communication with the machines
needs to take into account the affective state
of the user (captured by his/her voice, facial
expressions, and other signals)
• In HCI and AI: the expression of computers
when interacting with users must be natural
and inspired in the way humans communicate,
thus emotions should be present in such
What is Affective
“Computing that relates to, arises
from, or deliberately influences
Rosalind Picard, 1997
What is and What is Not
Affective Computing?
Emotion and Affect
• What are emotions?
• What causes them?
• Why do we have them?
The Limbic System
The Limbic
System is the
seat of emotion,
memory and
attention. It helps
“valence”(if you
feel positive or
negative) and
salience (what
gets the
The Limbic System
• LeDoux findings show that the
audio cortex is not always
needed for auditory
• The amygdala is where the
learning for fear conditioning
• There are substantially more
connections from the limbic
system to the cortex than vice
• “Not only can the limbic
system hijack the cortex, but
the limbic system influence
Decision Making and
• “Rational thinking” requires
participation from emotion-
mediating parts of the brain.
• The importance of Emotional
Inteligence as “the ability to
monitor one’s own and others
feeling and emotions, to
descriminate among them and to
use this information to guide one’s
thinking and action” (Gardner).
Affective Communication
• “Basic affect recognition and
expression are expected by
humans in communication”
• So far, computer-based
communication is “affect-blind”,
“affect-deaf”, and generaly
speaking affect-impaird.
A quantum leap in communication
will occur when computers become
able to at least recognise and
express affect.
• Comunication of Emotions
• Emotions and Neuroscience (Sergio)
• Emotion Recognitionn (Pedro)
• Emotion Agent Architectures (Samuel)
• Expression of Emotions (Iolanda)
• Applications of Affective Computing
• Affective Wearables (Rui)