WORKSHOP : AFFINE – Affective Interaction in Natural Environments: Real-time affect analysis and interpretation for virtual agents and robots

The First AFFINE workshop on Affective Interaction in Natural Environments will be hosted at the Tenth International Conference on Multimodal Interfaces (ICMI 2008) to be held in Chania, Crete, on the 24th of October 2008, following the main conference. The duration of the workshop is one day.


A vital requirement for social robots and virtual agents is the ability to infer the affective and mental states of humans, so as to be able to engage in and behave appropriately during sustained social interactions. Examples include ensuring that the user is interested in maintaining the interaction or providing suitable empathic responses. A fundamental component in these ‘mentalizing’ and ’empathizing’ capabilities is the interpretation of human behavior from sensory input, which must be conducted in a timely manner.

This workshop will consider real-time computational techniques for the recognition and interpretation of human verbal and non-verbal behavior, models of ‘mentalizing’ and ’empathizing’ for integrative representation and processing of input data, and implementation to support human-agent and human- robot interaction frameworks.

In particular, the workshop seeks to bring together researchers working on the real-time interpretation of user behavior to produce mid- or high-level state descriptors, from basic emotions to more complex appraisals or mental states (e.g. agreement and interest, or blends of several emotions) with those who wish to apply this capacity as part of a ‘social perception’ module or equivalent in social robot and virtual agent interaction frameworks.



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