What happens when media technologies are able to interpret our feelings, emotions, moods, and intentions? In this cutting edge new book, Andrew McStay explores that very question and argues that these abilities result in a form of technological empathy. Offering a balanced and incisive overview of the issues raised by ‘Emotional AI’, this book: • Provides a clear account of the social benefits and drawbacks of new media trends and technologies such as emoji, wearables and chatbots • Demonstrates through empirical research how ‘empathic media’ have been developed and introduced both by start-ups and global tech corporations such as Facebook • Helps readers understand the potential implications on everyday life and social relations through examples such as video-gaming, facial coding, virtual reality and cities • Calls for a more critical approach to the rollout of emotional AI in public and private spheres Combining established theory with original analysis, this book will change the way students view, use and interact with new technologies. It should be required reading for students and researchers in media, communications, the social sciences and beyond.
Chapter 4: Spectrum Of Emotions: Gaming The Body
Spectrum Of Emotions: Gaming The Body
Gaming has significant experience with biofeedback technologies and is a good early case example to illustrate both aspects of the empathic media thesis. It illustrates not only what it means to ‘live with’ technologies that are sensitive to emotional life, but also that empathic media involve the creation of aesthetic experiences that allow people to ‘feel-into’ content in novel ways. The goal of this chapter is to introduce biometrics to human-technological interaction and how emotional life is ‘mediated’. It examines how affective computing widens the scope of what can be communicated through media and what this entails. I encapsulate this in terms of an increase of channels within the media spectrum. With this ...