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Novel Device Developed To Help Autistic Individuals Communicate Better

A new device that can attune itself to pick up emotions is currently under construction to enable autistic individuals communicate better //. It can the autistic user if the people they are taking to are getting annoyed or bored, so that the user can try to make the conversation more interesting and lively.

People with autism have a considerable difficulty in picking up cues in the social set up. Not noticing that people get bored or confused during the conversation can have damaging effects, as most people tend to avoid any sort of communication with autistic individuals.

El Kaliouby is developing the device named as 'emotional social intelligence prosthetic', along with his colleagues at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The device consists of a camera that can be pinned to the side of pair of glasses, that can in turn be connected to a handheld computer, equipped with image recognition software, in addition to a software capable enough of reading the emotions displayed. The software then signals the wearer through a vibratory movement, signaling that the listener is not involved.

The researchers had previously demonstrated at the University of Cambridge that her software is capable of detecting emotions associated with agreement, disagreement, concentration, thought and level of interest of the listener. Similar computer programs designed previously have so far been able to detect the basic emotions such as fear, anger, happiness, sadness, disgust and surprise.

This new device is superior to the conventional ones as such complex emotional are most likely to come up in a conversation. Furthermore, such emotions are difficult to detect as they are communicated in a sequence of movements rather than a solitary expression.

She trained her machine to detect such subtle changes in human expression by showing it more than 100 video clips of actors, expressing different emotions over an 8-
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