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Researchers use human cues to improve computer user-friendliness
Date:3/4/2011

ychologist Peter Gerhardstein to explore ways this work could benefit children with autism. Many people with autism have difficulty interpreting others' emotions; therapists sometimes use photographs of people to teach children how to understand when someone is happy or sad and so forth. Yin could produce not just photographs, but three-dimensional avatars that are able to display a range of emotions. Given the right pictures, Yin could even produce avatars of people from a child's family for use in this type of therapy.

Yin and Gerhardstein's previous collaboration led to the creation of a 3D facial expression database, which includes 100 subjects with 2,500 facial expression models. The database is available at no cost to the nonprofit research community and has become a worldwide test bed for those working on related projects in fields such as biomedicine, law enforcement and computer science.

Once Yin became interested in human-computer interaction, he naturally grew more excited about the possibilities for artificial intelligence.

"We want not only to create a virtual-person model, we want to understand a real person's emotions and feelings," Yin says. "We want the computer to be able to understand how you feel, too. That's hard, even harder than my other work."

Imagine if a computer could understand when people are in pain. Some may ask a doctor for help. But others young children, for instance cannot express themselves or are unable to speak for some reason. Yin wants to develop an algorithm that would enable a computer to determine when someone is in pain based just on a photograph.

Yin describes that health-care application and, almost in the next breath, points out that the same system that could identify pain might also be used to figure out when someone is lying. Perhaps a computer could offer insights like the ones provided by Tim Roth's character, Dr. Cal Lightman, on the television show Lie to Me.
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Contact: Gail Glover
gglover@binghamton.edu
607-777-2174
Binghamton University
Source:Eurekalert  

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