What? Affective computing can be defined as the scientific efforts to give electronic devices emotional intelligence so that they can respond to our human feelings. For example, when you look at a movie, a computer can register the emotions shown by your face (and other biometric data such as heart rate or electrodermal activity on the skin, the pitch and timbre of voices, body language and muscle movements), and with a learning process, suggest movies that you may like.
So what? These technologies can be used to improve customers’ experience, better treat pain in hospital or elderly centers, and treat diseases like depression or autism. They may also be used to improve your own emotional intelligence in order to have better interactions with others and increase empathy between humans. However, if these devices are becoming really efficient at reading human emotions, could they become intrusive and take away aspects of our privacy?
Source: The Telegraph - Affective computing: How ‘emotional machines’ are about to take over our lives