March 13, 1998

AFFECTIVE COMPUTING. Rosalind Picard. MIT Press. Pounds 23.50, - ISBN 0 262 16170 2.

Unhumbled by their failure to replicate human intelligence, computer scientists are now doing their best to model human emotions. Is nothing sacred? Picard's MIT Media Lab research on wearable, empathic computers makes good copy, as do the inevitable social and ethical speculations: what if machines really had feelings? But the real thrill is to see how scientists are using computer models to develop and test theories of human emotion. If you found artificial intelligence and cognitive science exciting in the 1980s, this is where you should be now.

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