Connecting Emotionally With and Through Computers

Impact: Economic Impact


Emotional signals – obvious outbursts, or more often subtle changes in tone of voice, or facial expression – play a key part in human communication. Psychology researchers at Queen’s have made fundamental contributions to ‘affective computing’, which enables automatic systems to use those signals. The team’s work has influenced a new computing language for describing these signals and the states that they reveal: EmotionML (Emotion Markup Language). The language has been recommended as a standard by the World Wide Web Consortium, to define how software describes emotions.
The language is used by multinational corporations in a range of applications in a rapidly expanding field. Queen’s expertise in emotion led Dr Gary McKeown to found a start-up company, Adoreboard (previously known as Mediasights) along with entrepreneur Chris Johnston, which specifically uses EmotionML in opinion and sentiment analysis in marketing. Its product, Adoreboard, lets companies track consumers’ emotional responses to their products. The company has agreed funding of £470,000, partnerships with three multinational corporations, and was recently selected to take up residence at Google’s campus in London.
Impact statusOngoing
Category of impactEconomic Impact