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 10: Empathic Cities
Readers will know that a utopia is a vision of a society that is desirable and approaching perfection for its citizens. What is less likely to be known is that the capital of the island of Utopia is Amaurot; a town square in shape, roughly two miles in either direction and adjacent to a river. Protected by high and thick fortified walls, towers and forts, on three sides of the perimeter is a deep ditch. On the fourth is a river. The town has drinking water delivered through earthen pipes, and for areas where pipes cannot reach there are cisterns to collect rainwater. Streets allow all sorts of vehicles, and the adjacent buildings are uniform. This means each side of a ...