What is Affective Computing?


Affective computing is the idea that humans can program machines to recognize, interpret, process, and simulate the range of human emotions. This concept centers on the development of programs and hardware that create the faculties for a computer to do this, such as implementing a video camera to capture facial cues and gestures that works in conjunction with an algorithm that can detect and interpret these human affects. Not to be confused with facial recognition technologies associated with security, like those that facilitate secure payment transactions, affective computers recognize emotional and behavioral cues that trigger a reactionary process in the computer. A potential application of affective computing is in online learning situations wherein a computerized tutor reacts to facial cues of boredom in a student in an effort to motivate or boost their confidence. With researchers already working on educational applications, and start-up companies exploring other novel uses, growth in the field of affective computing has deep implications for the future of human and computer interactions.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

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(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • Watson University Deakin University has recently partnered with IBM to use Watson to field a range of student questions. Watson learns as it interacts with students and their questions. This is just the early stages of a potential new paradigm for how universities might operate into the future. At the moment Watson is used to provide answers to student questions such as admissions, enrolment, fees, financial assistance, student housing, extracurricular activities, health and wellness,jobs, employment preparation. What happens when we move beyond that list? What happens when Watson is fronted by a hologram and staff and students are interacting with a remote database? What happens when learning designs and assessments are provided by the next generation Watsons? Will current universities be the front door for Watson University? http://ibmwatson.deakin.edu.au/
    http://www.deakin.edu.au/news/latest-media-releases/2014/deakin-and-ibm-unite-to-revolutionise-the-student-experience - geoffrey.crisp geoffrey.crisp Feb 28, 2015 [Editor's Note: Added here from RQ2.]
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(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on teaching, learning, or creative inquiry?

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(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

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