EmoSPARK: Artificial Intelligence Home Console

EmoSpark is a android powered Wi-Fi/Bluetooth cube-shaped console designed to sit in the home and interact with people through conversation, music, and visual media. Emospark learns the emotional profile of the people in the house by sensing and measuring user inputs such as pleasure and pain, and deliver them relevant content accordingly.

This new AI home console is currently raising money on Indiegogo.

From Wired.co.uk:

To communicate with the Android-powered Emospark, users can simply talk to it through speaking or typing into their tablet, mobile phone (which means it can gauge your emotions on the move), computer or TV. It combines this with face-tracking technology to gauge the user’s likes and dislikes by categorising their emotional responses to music, videos and other content (using an emotional spectrum based on seven emotions: joy, sadness, trust, disgust, fear, anger, surprise and anticipation). Users can also connect with Facebook and YouTube to help the cube build up a history of interests.

Emospark initially tries to recommend particular pieces of content — be it a song or a YouTube video — that might help to improve the user’s mood. So, for example, the cube might tell you that your friend Michael has posted a new video onto Facebook and it has 12 likes, would you like to watch it. If you say yes, the cube will play it on the TV or other device. If you start to laugh, it will show you similar content.

Levy Rosenthal explained to Wired.co.uk that sharing content is about sharing emotions. “Hundreds of millions of people post pictures, music and videos because they want to share the emotions that are inside. You want to see if other people like it, if they share the same emotions.” Emospark also acts as a virtual assistant, connecting to Wikipedia and collaborative knowledge community Freebase. This means you can ask your cube questions, much in the same way you might speak to Siri. Emospark will reply in a conversational way, searching through records of previous conversations and selecting an appropriate response to your comments. Over time, the cube will develop its own personality based on the interactions it has with people, said Levy Rosenthal.

Rostenthal told Wired.co.uk that Emospark is designed to achieve “a positive singularity”. He explained that there are two versions of the future: one which goes in the way of the Terminator, with robots based on pure logic and another full of emotions, “like Wall-E, a cute robot full of emotions who saves humans from logical robots”.

“Humans see that robots are coming, but a lot of money for research is coming from the army — for flying drones and weaponised robots — and people are getting scared,” he explains. “Today all machines are pure logic. But we are emotional. It’s important for machines to understand humans on an emotional level.”

Since it’s an Android device, the cube can be customised using apps from the Google Play store. Developers are invited to come up with new apps or gaming systems that take advantage of Emospark.

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  • FET project

  • EC funded

  • Under FP7

  • Project details

    Project number: 258749
    Call (part) identifier: FP7-ICT-2009-5
    Project Start Date: 1st September 2010
    Project Duration: 48 month

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