Dr Lachlan Urquhart is part of a team that recently won a £50,000 ESRC Grant from the UK-Japan Connections funding stream for a project called ‘Emotional AI: Comparative Considerations for UK and Japan across Commercial, Political and Security Sectors’.
Dr Urquhart will commence this 1-year project in early 2019 with Prof Andrew McStay (PI) and Prof Vian Bakir, both from Bangor University, and Prof Peter Mantello from Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University.
The project will explore the use of Emotional AI / affective computing technologies in different contexts of everyday life. These are ‘artificial intelligence’ systems that seek to sense and understand the emotive state of users using various sensors and machine learning analysis. They are increasingly deployed in a variety of social settings, from policing and surveillance systems to smart homes and cities.
As emotional AI is deployed in different public and private spaces many social, ethical, regulatory, and technical considerations will emerge. In particular, the project wishes to understand cross-cultural dimensions of these technologies, to engage with how they are being considered in both Japan and the UK. To do this, they will be bringing together different stakeholders in the UK and Japan from government, NGOs, industry, academia and creative sectors.