Recent advances in psychological theories of emotion and affect, and their embodiment in computational systems will enable new applications in commerce, education, entertainment, security, therapy and everyday life. The advent of machines that recognise and express emotions takes us one step closer to making machines in the image of God. Is it a step too far? There are also important issues of privacy and personal expression that must be considered. Peter Robinson, Professor of Computer Technology in the Computer Laboratory at the University of Cambridge, will address these themes in a public lecture organised by The Faraday Institute on 7 March in Cambridge.

Prof. Robinson leads the Rainbow Research Group working on computer graphics and interaction, and his research concerns problems at the boundary between people and computers. This involves investigating new technologies to enhance communication between computers and their users, and new applications to exploit these technologies. He has led investigations of the inference of people’s mental states from facial expressions, vocal nuances, body posture and gesture, and other physiological signals, and also considered the expression of emotions by robots and cartoon avatars. Professor Robinson is a Fellow of Gonville & Caius College, a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the British Computer Society.

Machines in the Image of God?
Thursday 7 March, 5.30pm
Queen’s Lecture Theatre, Emmanuel College, Cambridge
Free entry, no need to book

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