Today in Research: A Computer That Understands Our Emotions

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Discovered: An anti-drinking drug, emotional computers, parents don't know where their kids are sometimes, there's oxygen and possibly life on Saturn's moon, and a creature that sees without eyes.

  • Computers that understand human emotions. We're one step closer to real-life Bicentennial Man. (Not something we're sure we want, but it's not up to us, we guess.) Science has developed a machine that (kind of) understands human emotions. "In addition to enhancing the content of the message, the new technology provides information regarding the cognitive states, motivation levels, and social dynamics of the students," explains researcher Sidney D'Mello. Sounds potentially romantic. But, for now, the technology is supposed to help kids learn better. "Much like a gifted human tutor, AutoTutor and Affective AutoTutor attempt to keep the student balanced between the extremes of boredom and bewilderment by subtly modulating the pace, direction, and complexity of the learning task," continues D'Mello. Student teacher relationship, perhaps?  [University of Notre Dame]
  • Parents don't know where their kids are sometimes. Not as often as you hooligans might like. But, at least once a month, the answer was no for 36 percent and nearly 25 percent of 15-year-old boys and girls, respectively. This should concern moms and dads because the research also found that bad things happen at night when parents don't know what's going on. For example, "64 percent of 15-year-old girls who stay out frequently past 9 p.m. without their parent's knowledge consumed alcohol more than once in the last month, compared with only 25 percent of girls who hadn't stayed out in the past month," explains the research. "Five times more boys who frequently stay out late without their parents knowing where they are report ever having used cannabis, compared to boys who do not stay out late," continues the research. [Understanding Society]

Read the full story at The Atlantic Wire.

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