ACII 2021 - 1st Workshop on

Functions of Emotions for Socially Interactive Agents

What is it about ...

News

Please prepare the camera ready version until August 5, 2021 and submit it via the conference’s EasyChair system.

Background

We might smile because we are indeed happy because we want to build a pleasant connection to the other, or maybe because we want to hide shame and insecurity. We might enjoy the company of Paula very much, or we might be a bit unrelaxed because she reminds us of our mother-in-law. When we grew up in the US, we might show our disgust about something obvious, but we might most likely show a polite smile if we grew up in Japan. In a discussion, we might show anger because we are indeed in a conflict with our counterpart, because of the topic we are talking about or because we are angry with ourselves. We might look sad and downhearted because we are indeed sad, or maybe, we unconsciously suppressed anger which turned into depression.

This workshop explores the challenges and the possibilities that come with the view that emotions are not universally unique patterns (internally and externally) and always connected to individual experiences. The focus is on exploring the concept of functions of emotions because we believe that this approach holds great potential for empathic systems.

Emotions have intrapersonal functions (e.g., motivational purposes, guidance of perception, and decision making), interpersonal functions (e.g., signaling of the nature of a relationship or a topic, providing incentives for specific behaviors and underline meanings, illustrating the communicated topic), and socio-cultural functions (e.g., coordinate social situations through the connection of norms to values, beliefs and behavior).

Empathic and socially interactive agents would benefit from such a view with regard to understanding the dialog partner on an emotional level and showing appropriate behavior. Such agents can play into each of these functions and purposes by, e.g., complying with suitable situational dependent behavioral norms, mirroring behavior. Relying only on the interpretation of social signals might not be enough for every social context. Contextual information, individual differences of the users, and group characteristics are indeed crucial for this process. A computational representation of functions of emotions might be the key to next-gen empathic, socially interactive agents. Foremost, a representation of emotions that integrates individual subjective experience is required. Based on such a representation, individual and social functions of emotions can be modeled. Within that context, it is of most interest how these functions can be related to observable social signals (e.g., voice, gaze, gesture, body movements) and displayed emotions between, at least, two individuals. Moreover, empathic systems in various fields of application (e.g., therapeutic assistance, autonomous driving cars, learning social skills, learning, and working in groups) could be improved by incorporating computational models for functions of emotions.

This workshop intends to bring researchers from diverse research areas together to share recent advances and discuss research directions and opportunities for the next generation of computational models and human-computer-interaction that take functions of emotions into account. We invite submissions of research papers and position papers that address the following areas (but not limited to):

  • Theoretical work on functions of emotions and their relation to 1) social signals and their exchange between humans and 2) higher-level social constructs such as trust, relationship, and cultural and social norms. Moreover, innovative or cross-disciplinary methodological approaches to research functions of emotions.
  • Computational models of functions of emotions and their relation to observable social signals as well as their use in empathic or socially interactive agents (virtual and physical).
  • Computational models of emotions that come with a representation of individual subjective experience and functions of emotions.
  • Models defining the relation of emotional functions to learning processes, feedback strategies, and their impact on the social relationship in learning contexts.
  • Empirical studies to develop or evaluate computational models considering functions of emotions.
  • Empirical studies on functions of emotions and their relation to social signals in human-human-interaction including pilot studies applying new methodological approaches.
  • Applications that employ a computational representation of functions of emotions and demonstrate the benefit of such by showing empathic behavior.

Submission

We invite submissions of research papers from authors with diverse backgrounds (e.g., computer science, psychology, sociology, learning science, behavioral science). Submissions can be on completed work, work-in-progress, position papers, posters, or demos. Authors are asked to submit papers up to 6 pages (excluding references) following the submission guidelines from the ACII 2021 conference. Please use the conference’s EasyChair system for submissions. Remeber to select the Func-E track while submitting. All submissions will be reviewed double-blind.

At least one author of each accepted paper will be required to attend the workshop to present their work.

Important Dates

  March 31, 2021: Workshop announcement

  June 14, 2021: Submission Deadline

  July 20, 2021 (changed from June 30): Notification

  August 5, 2021 (changed from July 30): Camera Ready Deadline

  September 28, 2021: Workshop

Agenda

The final agenda will unfold after the camera ready deadline. The virtual one-day workshop consists of three main activities:

  1. Invited talks including a question answering session.
  2. Oral paper presentations (about 10min) and discussions.
  3. Panel discussions

The workshop will be organized virtually using online collaborative tools. We envision collecting all presentations in a central workshop desk, which also provides support for collaborative work.



Invited Talks

What is that Thing 'Emotion'?

Abstract: While it is well known that researchers have a hard time defining emotion, it is less well known that the cohesion between individual components of emotions, such as subjective experience, physiological activation, expressive behavior is often rather low. What happens to these components in a real situation is often shaped by facets of context and function in a given situation. Classical research on affect, 50 years ago, assumed that laboratory studies of emotions often would find only low correlations because the intensity of the emotions studied was too low. While this may or may not be true (hint: I do not think it is), it is bad news for the engineer who wants to build an algorithm to identify a specific affective state in the real world when intensities there are also often low. I will discuss the challenge of low correlations between emotional components and pose the question of whether sometimes concepts, such as actions and functions might be more fruitful for the engineer than implying that identifying specific emotions will be the best predictor of behavior, attitudes, or motivations.

Arvid Kappas is a professor of psychology and Dean at Jacobs University Bremen. He has been conducting research on emotions for over three decades. Having obtained his PhD at Dartmouth College, NH, USA, he has lived and worked in Switzerland, Canada, the UK, and in Germany. He was also visiting professor in Austria and in Italy. Between 2013 and 2018 he was the president of the International Society for Research on Emotion. Kappas is an elected fellow of the Association for Psychological Science and the Society for Personality and Social Psychology and presently a member of the executive board of the Association for the Advancement of Affective Computing. His current research interests relate to the affective in affective computing and the social in social robotics.


Functions of Emotions - the Basis of Human’s Well-being

Abstract: The ability to recognize, experience and regulate emotions are at the core of what makes us human beings. The mirroring of affects is a key component of our earliest relationships with our primary caregivers, essential for the development of secure attachment, developing one’s own identity and the ability to form and enjoy relationships with others. Furthermore, our inner capacity to recognize and regulate emotions is also related to our capacity to learn in social environments and maintain good mental health. This keynote will present current theoretical knowledge and empirical evidence about the functions of emotions for our mental health and their role in delivering effective treatments for mental health problems from a clinical psychological perspective. The great potential and challenges to use affective computational systems for promoting mental health and delivering interventions will be discussed.

Jana Volkert is is a visiting professor in clinical psychology at the University of Kassel, and a research fellow at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. Her research focuses onthe development and treatment of mental health problems in particular with regard togeneral processes of emotion regulation and mentalizing capacities in children, adolescents and adults. She obtained her PhD at the University of Hamburg (Germany), conducted her postdoctoral research fellowship at McLean Hospital and Harvard Medical School, MA, USA, and is also a licensed psychotherapist, specialized in psychodynamic and mentalization-based treatments.


Organizers and Committee

Programm Committee

Michael Baker

,

 

CNRS, Télécom ParisTech, France

Tobias Baur

,

 

Augsburg University, Germany

Joost Broekens

,

 

University of Leiden, Netherlands

Joana Campos

,

 

INESC-ID, Portugal

Celine Clavel

,

 

LIMSI Paris, France

Oliver Evers

,

 

University Hospital, Heidelberg, Germany

Arthur Graesser

,

 

University of Memphis, USA

Rachael Jack

,

 

University Glasgow, Scotland, UK

Malte Jung

,

 

Cornell University, USA

Nicole Krämer

,

 

University Duisburg-Essen, Germany

Birgit Lugrin

,

 

Würzburg University, Germany

Jean-Claude Martin

,

 

LIMSI Paris, France

Prasanth Murali

,

 

Northeastern University, USA

Philipp Müller

,

 

DFKI, Germany

Piia Näykki

,

 

University of Jyväskylä, Finland

Fabrizio Nunnari

,

 

DFKI, Germany

Magalie Ochs

,

 

Laboratoire d’Informatique et des Systèmes, France

Catherine Pelachaud

,

 

CNRS - ISIR, Sorbonne University, France

Paolo Petta

,

 

ÖFAI, Austria

Claire Polo

,

 

Lyon 2 University - ECP Laboratory, France

Brian Ravenet

,

 

IMSI Paris, France

Nicolas Sabouret

,

 

LIMSI Paris, France

Clara Falala-Séchet

,

 

University Paris Descartes, France

Hiroki Tanaka

,

 

RIKEN Center for Advanced Intelligence, Japan

Ilaria Torre

,

 

KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden

Christiana Tsiourti

,

 

Messerli Research Institute, Austria

Katharina Weitz

,

 

Augsburg University, Germany

Janet Wessler

,

 

Saarland University, Germany

Nutchanon Yongsatianchot

,

 

Northeastern University, USA