Blog

  • Looking for an efficient and universal health care assistance

    March 8, 2017, by semFYC

    Rachid is a 35-year old man from Morocco but he is now living in Spain, Madrid, since 2012. Five years ago, he left his wife and three children, looking for a better life and opportunities for his family. In his country, he worked over 16 years as a peddler but here in Spain, he found a first job opportunity as a farmer and now he is working in a hostel in the city Centre. I am his Family Doctor and I know Rachid very well. I met him for the first time three years ago, when he came to our ...

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  • The Kristina Social agent, the result of diversity and teamwork

    Jan. 30, 2017, by lstellingwerff

    The Kristina project aims at building a “"Knowledge-Based Information Agent with Social Competence and Human Interaction Capabilities". This is a pretty ambitious goal, but our current work is very promising in achieving that goal. Through diversity and teamwork, the agent is taking shape and starts to gain such competences and capabilities. And this is important, as the Kristina agent is going to be used to help people enhancing their lives, helping to bridge culture and language barriers and providing easier access to medical and health information.

    The Kristina project consortium consists of a broad set of partners, each with different ...

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  • Talking with machines

    Jan. 5, 2017, by Thiago Fraga da Silva

    (c) Can Stock Photo / ankomando

    Talking with machines like we do with humans it is a scenario present in many Science Fiction books, movies and TV series. Back in the 1960's Rosie, the home robot in the Jetsons, conversed with the family. And in the Star Wars series, C-3PO had very human expressions and could communicate with R2D2 who was not able to speak, but could understand spoken instructions. The computer in Star Trek was able to identify who was speaking and to understand voice commands for piloting the space shuttle. In most very recent movies, robots are hardly ...

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  • Affective computing using Russell’s Circumplex model of affect

    Dec. 2, 2016, by Oriol Martínez

    Interaction between humans and computers has been increasingly growing during last 30 years [1]. Just think about how television, personal computers and, lately, mobile devices take an important role in your everyday life. Affective computing research aims to equip such deviceswith human-like capabilities to change the way we interact with them. In other words, we want automaticsystems that can recognize, interpret, process and simulate human affects with the final goal to emulatehuman empathy [2].

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    In the KRISTINA project,we use Russell’s Circumplex model of affect [3] on both sides of the interaction pipeline: emotion recognition and emotion simulation.The ...

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  • Europe’s getting older

    Oct. 25, 2016, by Jutta Mohr

    We all are getting older. But not only as individuals; Europe is getting older as well. Soon, the number of older people will exceed the number of children and more people are estimated to reach an extreme old age than ever before.  In January 2015, 18,9% of the population of Europe was 65 years of age or older. In Germany, the share of older people is even higher.  And still, we continue to get older: According to estimates, in 2050 the share of those over age 65 will rise to 27%. And by 2080, the share of people with ...

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  • KRISTINA is getting deeply emotional

    Sept. 27, 2016, by Mireia Farrús

    With the first prototype of KRISTINA is nearing its completion, it seems like an appropriate time to talk about the technical side of the project. As the project’s description states it is “KRISTINA’s overall objective [..] to develop a human-like socially competent and communicative agent that […] run[s] on mobile communication devices”. To create an agent with human-like communication skills we need to analyze the users input not only with respect to the semantics of his conversational contributions but also to his overall affective state in order to react accordingly. This goal is equally challenging from a scientific point ...

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  • Seeing the Sounds

    July 28, 2016, by Mireia Farrús

    The McGurk effect is a perceptual phenomenon accidentally discovered by Harry McGurk and John MacDonald in 1976. MacDonald, who was McGurk’s research assistant at that time, was asked to dub a video differently from which was spoken to conduct a psychology perception experiment with infants. Surprisingly, what they listened when playing the video was not the spoken segment nor the one performed with the lips, but a third one. To give an illustrative example, when pronouncing the syllable ba dubbed onto the syllable ga, the researchers perceived da. Due to this audiovisual illusion, the McGurk effect is also known ...

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  • Searching for the Right Thing to Say

    June 29, 2016, by Mireia Farrús

    Communication is part of our everyday life. We talk to our friends, our colleagues, our hairdresser, and even strangers about a number of topics and for a number of reasons. And in each conversation we have to decide how we want to contribute. This can result in numerous questions that we ask ourselves during a conversation: What do I say? How do I say it? When do I say it? Is it appropriate? Is it interesting? Is it...?
    While some of us always seem to know the right thing to say, there are also those who are constantly at a ...

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  • “Next year we’ll have the first operational avatar of KRISTINA”

    June 6, 2016, by semFYC

    Noticias semFYC Magazine has published a short video about the European Project KRISTINA in which the main responsible of the project’s objectives and achievements have been interviewed. Leo Wanner, the project coordinator, explains the expected results and next steps towards the first prototype.  Carles Llor, who is in charge of the scientific research for the Spanish Society of Community and Family Medicine (semFYC), explains his role in the working process of the avatar development and how semFYC ensures clinical accuracy during the project.

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    KRISTINA is a European funded project built into the European Program HORIZON 2020 of Investigation and ...

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  • Migration and Health Care of Turkish Immigrants in Germany

    May 4, 2016, by Mireia Farrús

        (Rudolpho Duba, pixelio)

    Germany has come a long way in the last 60 years, achieved technical prowess in many different fields. There is one key factor for the economic boom starting from the late 50s onward which needs to be kept in mind: the arrival of guest workers and their contribution to the economic growth of the land. Cheap, useful and, at first glance unproblematic, the ‘guest’ work force turned out to be one of the key components of continuous economic growth, which in turn lead to the immigration of more guest workers. Most came from south Europe and later ...

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multilingual intelligent embodied agent social competence adaptive dialogue expressive speech recognition and synthesis discourse generation vocal facial and gestural social and emotional cues