Multimodal Affective Computing and its Applications

Title: Multimodal Affective Computing and its Applications
Lecturer: Prof. Roland Goecke
Date: Monday 17th September, 11:00am
Building/Room: EIHW Social Room


Abstract: In this talk, I will give an overview of our research into developing multimodal technology that analyses the affective state and more broadly behaviour of humans. Such technology is useful for a number of applications, with applications in healthcare, e.g. mental health disorders, being a particular focus for us. Depression and other mood disorders are common and disabling disorders. Their impact on individuals and families is profound. The WHO Global Burden of Disease reports quantify depression as the leading cause of disability worldwide. Despite the high prevalence, current clinical practice depends almost exclusively on self-report and clinical opinion, risking a range of subjective biases. There currently exist no laboratory-based measures of illness expression, course and recovery, and no objective markers of end-points for interventions in both clinical and research settings. Using a multimodal analysis of facial expressions and movements, body posture, head movements as well as vocal expressions, we are developing affective sensing technology that supports clinicians in the diagnosis and monitoring of treatment progress. Encouraging results from a recently completed pilot study demonstrate that this approach can achieve over 90% agreement with clinical assessment. After more than ten years of research, I will also talk about the lessons learnt in this project, such as measuring spontaneous expressions of affect, subtle expressions, and affect intensity using multimodal approaches.

Bio: Roland Goecke is Professor of Affective Computing at the University of Canberra, Australia, where he leads the Human-Centred Technology Research Centre. He received his Masters degree in Computer Science from the University of Rostock, Germany, in 1998 and his PhD in Computer Science from the Australian National University, Canberra, Australia, in 2004. Before joining UC in December 2008, Prof Goecke worked as a Senior Research Scientist with start-up Seeing Machines, as a Researcher at the NICTA Canberra Research Labs, and as a Research Fellow at the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics, Germany. His research interests are in affective computing, pattern recognition, computer vision, human-computer interaction, multimodal signal processing and e-research. Prof Goecke has been an author and co-author of over 130 peer-reviewed publications. His research has been funded by grants from the Australian Research Council (ARC), the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Australian National Data Service (ANDS) and the National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources project (NeCTAR).