"How Was Your Day?" Featured in IEEE Computer Society Journal, Highlights Capabilities of Companion Technologies Highlighted in the Film "Her"

LOS ALAMITOS, Calif., 20 February 2014 -- In the Academy Award nominated movie "Her," an operating system gains a man's love by promising to fulfill his every need. Such companion technologies are not just the subject of fiction, however. New systems in the rapidly evolving field are continuously emerging, indicating the companion technologies will soon become part of our everyday home and work lives.

One such system called "How Was Your Day?" is highlighted in a recent article in IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing. HWYD features an avatar named Samuela who uses natural dialogue interaction and a speech-based interface to engage in freeform discussions about events that have taken place in a user's day.

The article describes a paradigm and methodology for evaluating functionality and overall system behavior of HWYD, with applications for other systems. Samuela, an embodied conversational agent beamed on a large screen, greets users when they get home and engages in conversations on office-related topics, using facial expressions and gestures.

The research was carried out by David Benyon, director of the Centre for Interaction Design at Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland; Björn Gambück, a professor of language technology at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology; Preben Hansen, an assistant professor at Stockholm University; Oli Mival, a senior research fellow at the Centre for Interaction Design; and Nick Webb, a visiting assistant professor at Union College, New York.

IEEE Computer Society's IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing is a cross-disciplinary and international archive journal aimed at disseminating results of research on the design of systems that can recognize, interpret, and simulate human emotions and related affective phenomena. 

About IEEE Computer Society

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