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Robot Can Read Human Body Language 114

An anonymous reader writes "European researchers have developed a new approach to artificial intelligence that could allow computers to respond to behavior as well as commands, reacting intelligently to the subtle nuances of human communication. It's no trivial feat – many humans struggle with the challenge on a day-to-day basis."
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Robot Can Read Human Body Language

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  • Hmm.. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Kc_spot ( 1677970 ) < minus city> on Thursday December 10, 2009 @12:49PM (#30389824) Journal
    What I'm getting with this is George Orwell's 1984... 'cept with computers spotting the revolutionists
  • by djupedal ( 584558 ) on Thursday December 10, 2009 @12:54PM (#30389940)
    Unless of course they speak different languages...

    In which case the problem at hand is narrow-mindedness.
  • by 2obvious4u ( 871996 ) on Thursday December 10, 2009 @01:04PM (#30390132)
    I read body language in Brail.
  • by shentino ( 1139071 ) <> on Thursday December 10, 2009 @01:06PM (#30390164)

    I also think it serves as a bit of a social firewall to keep the "ins" and the "outs" just the way they are.

    I suspect that lots of people are subtle on purpose so that only the select few they want in on the message actually understand it, deliberately leaving the socially impaired outsiders clueless.

  • Region 1 only? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Itninja ( 937614 ) on Thursday December 10, 2009 @01:07PM (#30390178) Homepage
    Would not the AI need to be hard-coded with said 'nuances'? Body language is not exactly universal. For example, in the USA, looking in the eyes of the person your are speaking with carries a message of honesty and sincerity. But in the some countries, that same body language carries a message of defiance and disrespect. Most humans can pick up on the difference right away based on autonomic sampling of their surroundings. But I doubt the AI will be able to do that.
  • by FuckingNickName ( 1362625 ) on Thursday December 10, 2009 @01:14PM (#30390338) Journal

    You are completely incorrect. What an old Chinese proverb says does not make it true. The identical smile of two twin brothers can mean something totally different; the identical smile of the same person can mean two different things depending on context.

    When you move across cultures, different body language can have specific interpretations, or in one country be a habit where in another country it is considered a rudeness.

    The majority of responses to this thread reflect the worst excesses of American self-centredness: in Spain over the years, I have so often seen a US tourist shouting at the native, making contorted facial expressions to try to get some message across. He then gets offended when the Spaniard moves his hands in a gesture which is perfectly normal for this country, but unusual and much more confrontational in the US. In fact he should have just taken the time to speak careful English and realise that we can probably do the same thing back.

  • by FuckingNickName ( 1362625 ) on Thursday December 10, 2009 @02:12PM (#30391426) Journal

    You sir, are a fucking idiot.

    Good start.

    Cultural differences don't disrupt the fact that your body reacts in certain way depending of the emotion you are expressing.

    Ever heard of the "British stiff upper lip"? Cultural elements sometimes exist precisely to repress any ways you might feel like expressing an emotion, and to teach you to present your body in a certain way.

    I assume this is because you really just wanted to go on a "I hate Americans" rant, and this topic was as good as any.

    I don't hate Americans. I've lived in Virginia for a short while. But I do criticise the worst excesses of American self-centredness. Any superpower is going to develop such excesses, exhibited by some proportion of its natives. The Romans did it, the Spanish did it, the Brits did it, and now the Yanks do it.

    Maybe you should go read what body language really is [] []

    I can't begin to conceive what thought process would lead to the belief that linking to the Wikipedia article "Body language" would contribute toward an argument. Are you teaching me that Wikipedia exists? Are you saving me the trouble of typing "body language" into Google, which is almost guaranteed to return that page as a first link? Are you highlighting some specific cited on the Wikipedia page which contradicts the post you are responding to, but forgot to mention it?

    I like to refine my understanding and correct any mistakes I have made - especially in the rare event that I've wrongly not generalsed globally - but you haven't given me anything to work with.

  • by tophermeyer ( 1573841 ) on Thursday December 10, 2009 @02:16PM (#30391496)

    That there are differences does not mean there are not universals.

    Name me three "body language universals".

    There are lots actually, especially among facial expressions (as noted above). Smiles, sneers, crying, frowns, etc are all understood to be fairly universal behaviors. They are universal responses to stimuli, and they are commonly understood by people irrespective of culture. The thing is that these relatively simple behaviors that are likely innate to the organism, rather than learned behaviors. Many of these reflexes are even understood across species.

    He then gets offended when the Spaniard moves his hands in a gesture which is perfectly normal for this country, but unusual and much more confrontational in the US.

    This is an example of a more complex learned behavior. You are correct in that this kind of gesture can only be understood within its cultural context; however this is not true "body language". This might be considered as simply Language, that happens to involve the hands. A better example to illustrate your point would be that of handshakes or eye contact. These behaviors, though they seem very simple and straightforward, do show huge differences across cultures.

    If you'd settle for just one example of a body language universal, consider sexual arousal. Male sexual arousal is fairly easy to identify, and is generally understood across all cultures.

God helps them that themselves. -- Benjamin Franklin, "Poor Richard's Almanac"