Computing, with affection

By: Bank of Baroda
Thu Nov 26, 2020
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It is generally considered that the increasing usage of tech-enabled devices is often responsible for depriving emotional interactions among human beings. Considering the pivotal role of emotions in our lives, several firms are trying to make their products emotionally engaging. Thanks to the emergence of advanced technologies like big data, robotics and machine learning, we are entering an era of artificial emotional intelligence, better known as “Affective Computing”

This new era is concerned with gathering data from face, voice and body language to measure human emotion. In order to gain better understanding, MIT Affective Computing Research Group is doing research on this novel concept to explore how people can communicate via affective-cognitive states as well as new ways to assess frustration, stress and mood indirectly etc. The research has potential to humanize digital interactions and offer benefits in a wide range of applications.

For example, in an e-learning, Affective Computing program can detect when a student is frustrated and offer expanded explanations or additional information. Similarly in telemedicine, it can help physicians quickly understand patient's mood or even look for signs of depression.

As per Industry Today report, the Global Affective Computing market is expected to reach about USD 3500 million by the end of 2025, growing at a CAGR of 43% between 2017 and 2025.

Various fintechs are also taking steps to leverage affective computing’s potential. For example, Chinese fintech and e-commerce giant Alibaba is teaming up with Tsinghua University to research and develop human-computer interaction technologies like affective computing to study the ways in which computers could read human emotions, interpret mannerisms and even simulate those human characteristics on their own.

Considering the wide range of potential applications of affective computing, it won’t be a surprise if we get to see more such products being developed for general public using this technology. However, firms need to tread a cautious path considering the data security and privacy concerns to make such products engaging as well as safe to use.

Credits : Akhil Handa

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