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Scientists on Verge of Developing Emotional Computer


Artist's representation of the human brain and emotions.

Researchers from the National Research Nuclear University Moscow Engineering Physics Institute plan to develop a computer agent imbued with both narrative and emotional intellect over the next 18 months.

Credit: A Health Blog/Flickr

In an interview, George Mason University professor Alexei Samsonovich details how researchers from the National Research Nuclear University Moscow Engineering Physics Institute are planning to develop a computer agent called Virtual Actor imbued with both narrative and emotional intellect over the next 18 months.

"It will understand the context of what is going on, as well as the unfolding scenarios" so it can make plans and establish targets, he says.

Samsonovich says the agent can function as a virtual robot that fulfills the role of a specific person. "Our principal goal is to formulate the basic principles that natural intelligence in the human brain is built upon," he notes.

Samsonovich describes the approach he supports as being simultaneously bottom-up and top-down, requiring combined functional, neural, symbolic, and logical strategies.

He says a human-thought equivalent for artificial intelligence is necessary if computers are to work in an assistive capacity with humans. "It is a kind of singularity, where all functionalities converge at one point, and this gives you a complete set of options," Samsonovich reports.

He says another focus of his team's work relates to the registration of human brain activity to understand what a person thinks, his visual perception, and what kind of emotions he feels.

From Sputnik
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