Research StatementWe are interested in exploring new interaction dynamics between human and multimedia systems. In particular, we focus on two novel ideas in the realm of HCI: Affective Computing and Persuasive Technology. These paradigms consider the bi-directional communication of emotions between humans and computers during interaction. Hence, they involve giving computers emotional intelligence and persuasive abilities; two attributes that were previously reserved for humans.
Affective computing methods are aimed at allowing computers to appreciate and respond not only to traditional inputs, but also to users’ affects. In fact, the field has a wide scope and is concerned with the recognition, interpretation, response and simulation of human affects by computers.
We are developing new affect recognition methods and evolving existing ones. In particular, we are working on affect recognition through the analysis of several modalities of information that can be inferred from audio visual sensors. We use physiological information extracted from a video signal in our analysis.
Also, we are studying the use of the affect recognition methods that will be developed in the evaluation of the User Experience (UX) during HCI. Hence, we are developing a UX inspection framework that supports the empirical measurement of emotions evoked through HCI. This would allow interaction designers to more easily identify problematic areas that provoke users’ negative emotions.
Persuasive technologies are concerned with the use of computers to change how users think and behave. Their goal is to entice humans to positively change their attitudes through social influence as a result of human-computer interaction. We are working on integrating persuasive concepts within gaming applications. In particular, we are interested in the dynamic modulation of gaming scenarios to efficiently present persuasive contents while considering the user’s affective status and environmental context. The user’s affective status can reflect her/his level of response to a particular persuasive strategy.
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