A team of Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS) researchers led by Dr. Harry Witchel has revealed that computers can now tell if you’re bored or simply losing interest in its programs or whatever else you’re doing on the screen – a breakthrough study that have dramatic impacts on the future development of artificial intelligence (AI).
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Dr. Witchel is a body-language expert and discipline leader with BSMS, who reveals computers can analyze the tiny movements that people make when fully engaged with the system – known as non-instrumental movements, and use this to determine the user’s level of interest while interacting with the PC.
Dr. Witchel disclosed that if users have “rapt engagement” with what they are doing on the computer, their level of involuntary movements tend to drastically reduce.
“Our study showed that when someone is really highly engaged in what they’re doing, they suppress these tiny involuntary movements,” he revealed. “It’s the same as when a small child, who is normally constantly on the go, stares gaping at cartoons on the television without moving a muscle.”
Against the background that the study could impact on development of artificial intelligence, the researchers say the results of the study could be applied to creating online tutoring programs that automatically adapts to an individual’s level of interest so as to sustain their interest in whatever they are doing on the computer system.
This research could also help scientists develop companion robots that are able to detect an individual’s state of mind and adjust itself accordingly. It could also be used to know the actual emotions or mental states of people who watch films on the screen or engage with theater or presentation screens in any way.
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“Being able to ‘read’ a person’s interest in a computer program could bring real benefits to future digital learning, making it a much more two-way process,” Dr. Witchel said. “Further ahead it could help us create more empathetic companion robots, which may sound very ‘sci fi’ but are becoming a realistic possibility within our lifetimes.”