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p2pnet.net/,.....When your PC reads your mind

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27 Jun 2006 12:19 PM
When your PC reads your mind

p2p news / p2pnet: You're sitting at your computer when suddenly, an ad flashes onto the screen. Without any input from you.


Given advances in computer software and advertisers' unwholeseome determination to overwhelm you with their offerings whether you like it or not, compulsory viewing could be the coming thing

"People express their mental states all the time through facial expressions, vocal nuances and gestures," says Peter Robinson of the Computer Laboratory at the University of Cambridge, quoted in a Royal Society article. "We have built this ability into computers to make them emotionally-aware."

And, "Drawing inspiration from psychology, computer vision and machine learning, our team in the Computer Laboratory at the University of Cambridge has developed mind-reading machines - computers that implement a computational model of mind-reading to infer mental states of people from their facial signals," says Robinson on his Cambridge site describing the project, going on:

"The goal is to enhance human-computer interaction through empathic responses, to improve the productivity of the user and to enable applications to initiate interactions with and on behalf of the user, without waiting for explicit input from that user. There are difficult challenges: it involves uncertainty, since a person’s mental state can only be inferred indirectly by analyzing the behaviour of that person. Even people are not perfect at reading the minds of others; automatic analysis of the face from video is still an area of active research in its own right; and, there is no ‘code-book’ to interpret facial expressions as corresponding mental states."

Using a digital video camera, "the mind-reading computer system analyzes a person’s facial expressions in real time and infers that person’s underlying mental state, such as whether he or she is agreeing or disagreeing, interested or bored, thinking or confused," says Robinson.

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