Software generates faces that display moods, emotions

December 6th, 2008 - 7:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Dec 6 (IANS) A computer model developed by researchers can generate faces that display emotions and moods according to personality traits.”The aim of this work has been to design a model that reveals a person’s moods and displays them on a virtual face,” said a co-author of the study, Diana Arellano from University of Balearic Islands (UIB) Artificial Intelligence Unit.

“In the same 3-D space we have integrated personality, emotions and moods, which had previously been dealt with separately,” Arellano explained.

The researcher pointed out that emotions like fear, joy or surprise are almost instantaneous mood alterations, in contrast to emotional states like boredom or anxiety which are more long-lasting.

The designers have followed the theories of Albert Mehrabian to draw up the model, based on the five personality traits established by this American psychologist: extraversion, neuroticism, openness, conscientiousness and agreeableness.

“Every personality can be considered an emotional state by default”, indicated Arellano. An introverted and neurotic personality is therefore related to an anxious emotional state, said an UIB release.

The system, which uses the MPEG-4 video coding standard for creating images, makes it possible to display basic emotions (anger, disgust, fear, joy, sadness, surprise) and intermediate situations.

The results of the method have been assessed objectively and subjectively, through a survey carried out among a group of 75 university students.

The students successfully recognised 86 percent of the emotions and 73 percent of the emotional states shown on the computer.

Even so, the researchers have detected that some emotions, such as fear and surprise, are difficult to tell apart, with context helping to differentiate between the two.

The study was published in the latest edition of Computer Animation and Virtual Worlds.

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