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Computers Can Tell If You're Bored, Shows New Bsms Study


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Stifling a yawn.

Computers can tell whether a user is bored or interested in what is on the screen, according to researchers from the University of Sussex.

Credit: Thevioletfemmes.wordpress.com

University of Sussex researchers have found computers can read a user's body language to tell whether they are bored or interested in what is on the screen.

By measuring a person's movements as they use a computer, it is possible to judge their level of interest by monitoring whether they display non-instrumental movements, according to the researchers. If someone is focused on the screen, known as "rapt engagement," there is a decrease in these involuntary movements.

In the study, 27 participants faced three-minute stimuli differing in how interesting they were on a computer while using a handheld trackball to minimize instrumental movements. The participants' movements were quantified over the three minutes using video motion tracking. In two comparable reading tasks, the more engaging reading resulted in a 42-percent reduction of non-instrumental movement.

"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," says University of Sussex researcher Harry Witchel. He thinks the research could have a significant impact on the development of artificial intelligence.

From University of Sussex (United Kingdom)
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