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‘Empathetic’ robots could train autistic children to recognise emotions

Telegraph 08 Oct 2019 03:31

Robots can be trained to recognise specific human body language and teach it to children with autism, a new study has shown.

British psychologists and computer scientists used the responses of 284 humans to train a computer algorithm to identify different emotions including excitement, sadness, aggression and boredom from their movements even if it cannot see their facial expressions or hear their voices.

Researchers claimed that robots could be programmed in the same way to understand and replicate many different emotions and teach children to identify them through "emotional training".

Dr Charlotte Edmunds of Warwick Business School, who led the research project, said: “Our results suggest it is reasonable to expect a machine learning algorithm, and consequently a robot, to recognise a range of emotions and social interactions using movements, poses, and facial expressions. The potential applications are huge.”

The project also raises the prospect that robots could recognise when students are bored, or that customer service robots could identify when people feel angry or stressed.

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Dr EdmundsWarwick Business SchoolDr Charlotte EdmundsnbspUniversity of Plymouthadeleine Bartlett