Growing up in Egypt in the 1980s, Rana el Kaliouby was fascinated by hidden languages--the rapid-fire blinks of 1s and 0s computers use to transform electricity into commands and the infinitely more complicated nonverbal cues that teenagers use to transmit volumes of hormone-laden information to each other. Culture and social stigma discouraged girls like el Kaliouby in the Middle East from hacking either code, but she wasn't deterred. When her father brought home an Atari video game console and challenged the three el Kaliouby sisters to figure out how it worked, Rana gleefully did. When she wasn't allowed to date, el Kaliouby studied her peers the same way that she did the Atari. "I was always the first one to say'Oh, he has a crush on her' because of all of the gestures and the eye contact," she says.
Sloman was one of the first in the AI community to write about the role of emotion in computing (Sloman and Croucher 1981), and I value his insight into theories of emotional and intelligent systems. Alas, Sloman's review dwells largely on some details related to unknown features of human emotion; hence, I don't think the review captures the flavor of the book. However, he does raise interesting points, as well as potential misunderstandings, both of which I am grateful for the opportunity to comment on. Sloman writes that I "welcome emotion detectors in a wide range of contexts and relationships, for example, teacher and pupil." This might sound innocuous, but its presumption of the existence of emotion detectors is not.
Artificial intelligence (AI) solutions are bringing about a renaissance in people's daily lives and in business operations globally. AI is designed to be fast and efficient and surpass human abilities in ways that will simplify the tasks, activities and issues that users and corporations come across on a daily basis. But is this kind of new "intelligence" a technology, or can it take on characteristics that set humans apart besides reason and logic? More specifically, what will be the role of emotion in the way the technology will operate, and will it ever catch up with the human ability to sense and feel? It is no secret that AI is built upon the concepts of pattern recognition and training, which allows it to take over more mundane, time-consuming and low-involvement tasks.
This paper discusses ideas relative to the construction of emotional artifacts that have to interact in a social world, and in particular with humans. It first examines some of the ways in which emotions can enhance social interactions with artifacts, and some of the challenges posed to the designer. After considering the debate that opposes "shallow" versus "deep" modeling, it sketches some ways in which we can anchor emotions in the architecture of artifacts in order to make emotional interactions meaningful not only to the human, but also to the artifact itself. It finally outlines some of the cognitive capabilities that artifacts should incorporate for their emotions to be properly grounded and to give rise to rich social exchanges with humans.