A new artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR) device which recognises and reads the emotional cues of those around us could be a welcome step in combating mental health disorders experienced as a result of COVID-19.
“There is currently a lack of research which supports face-to-face emotional communication in everyday contexts. By using advanced technologies such as AI, AR, mobile electroencephalography (EEG) and mixed reality, we’re able to assess neurogenic emotion in real-time and display this digital content in a physical space.”“Neo-Noumena also has the possibility to assist people with autism to support their emotional communication ability as well as patients in therapy or rehabilitation, to better understand how they’re responding to treatment.”
Neo-Noumena uses EEG to interpret the user’s emotional state and produces a visual representation using AI technology. The visual representations are then digitally transmitted through two mixed reality head-mounted displays which provide a real-time dynamic representation of emotion.
“During our field research, volunteers wore the AI-driven system for several days and began to use the system to talk to one another about how they were feeling.”“Over time participants also reported being able to better understand how their partner was feeling by associating different environmental factors, such as music, media, and the presence of stress. This also prompted participants to respond more appropriately to their partner’s emotions. In turn, we found that measures of emotional competence demonstrated a significant increase in the participants’ ability to regulate their own emotions.”
This study has the potential to benefit fellow researchers in further examining, operationalising and assessing experiences of augmented emotion communication beyond traditional settings.
“There is a growing interest in applying AI to human-centric computing, putting people at the centre of what we investigate. I believe that Neo-Noumena has great potential to contribute to research that will be of societal impact and benefit.”
Neo-Noumena can also assist practitioners in informing the design of future augmented emotion communication systems and lead to a better understanding of appropriately designing emotion communication tools.