Björn Schuller

Artificial Communication Intelligence 2.0 – The Rise of Socio-Emotional Assistants

Today’s AI Assistants and conversational interfaces become increasingly useful, spread, and actually used, but still lack in one major aspect – they still just aren’t emotionally or socially intelligent thus keeping communication still quite different from human-to-human examples. In this talk, the state-of-play in the ongoing ambitions of filling this white spot in virtual agent and assistant tech is demonstrated. We shall go from the noughties’ first fully-fledged audiovisual input/output emotion-enhanced “SEMAINE” system to today’s “ARIA” system the presenter both was a co-developer of and related latest information retrieval agents with growing socioemotional capabilities aiming at more personalised, natural, and engaging user and customer experiences. While deep learning has already been at the core of the first such system, the talk will also highlight the most recent end-to-end learning architectures employed in the field of Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction. Modalities of interest include textual, acoustic, and visual, but also physiological cues of emotion or social signals. Benchmarks on performances are given from the major challenges in the field as organised by the presenter – AVEC, and ComParE. Emphasis is in particular laid on increasing socioemotional communication intelligence in tomorrow’s automated conversational customer care.

Björn W. Schuller received his diploma, doctoral degree, habilitation, and Adjunct Teaching Professor all in EE/IT from TUM in Munich/Germany. He is a Reader (Associate Professor) and Head of GLAM – the Group on Language Audio & Music at Imperial College London/UK, Full Professor at the University of Augsburg/Germany, co-founding CEO of audEERING, and permanent Visiting Professor at HIT/China. Before, he was Full Professor at the University of Passau/Germany, and with Joanneum Research in Graz/Austria, and the CNRS-LIMSI in Orsay/France. He is a Fellow of the IEEE, President-Emeritus of the AAAC, and Senior Member of the ACM. He (co-)authored 700+ publications (17000+ citations, h-index=64), and is the Editor in Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing, General Chair of ACII 2019 and ACM ICMI 2014, and a Program Chair of Interspeech 2019, ACII 2011/2015, ACM ICMI 2013, and IEEE SocialCom 2012. He was honoured as one of 40 extraordinary scientists under the age of 40 by the WEF in 2015, served as Coordinator/PI in 10+ European Projects, is an ERC Starting Grantee, and consultant of companies such as Huawei or Samsung.

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