Context aware and emotionally intelligent: The future of voice assistants

“Look Dave, I can see you’re really upset about this.” It is one of the creepiest lines in 2001: A Space Odyssey, uttered by the murderous artificial intelligence system HAL 9000. The supercomputer of the film’s doomed spaceship Discovery One, voiced by Douglas Rain, broke the sci-fi trope that fictional robots and virtual assistants should be slaves to cold logic and incapable of perceiving human emotion. The real-life voice assistants of today, however, have so far failed to shake this expectation. Snarl at Siri or worriedly weep to Cortana or Google Now and the response given will be no different to that given to a typed question. Tactless tech “Conventional systems focus on artificial intelligence. But there’s other types of intelligence – emotional intelligence,” says Dr. Mark Johnson of VoiceBox…


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