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Robots and Emotion: Tetchy the Turtle Meets Sonny and HAL

Today, Affective Media Limited in Scotland is working to help computers better understand people in various stages of emotional stress. Affective Media even has an online demo with an animated character named Tetchy the Turtle, who accepts voice samples and analyzes them.

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Once you have given Tetchy a four-second voice sample, it works on processing your sample. Eventually, the turtle begins to imitate your emotions, feeding them back to you. 

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"I can tell from your voice harmonics, Dave, that you're badly upset. Why don't you take a stress pill and get some rest?"

Just as Tetchy the Turtle is being designed to show emotion, science fiction robots have been written that way for years. Read about Marvin the depressed robot from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. And you may also appreciate the comments of the robot cab driver from Philip K. Dick's classic short story A Present for Pat from 1952. Read more about Affective Media at Mind what you say - this robot will know how you feel.

(This Science Fiction in the News story used with permission from Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction.)

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