Social and Emotional Artificial Intelligence


December 14, 2018


Jesse Hoey


University of Waterloo


Given that emotion is a key element of human interaction, enabling artificial agents with the ability to reason about affect is a key stepping stone towards a future in which technological agents and humans can work together while respecting ethical, moral and normative orders in society. In this talk, I will present my work on building intelligent computational agents that parsimoniously integrate both emotion and cognition. These agents are grounded in the well-established social-psychological Affect Control Theory and my recent probabilistic generalization of it, Bayesian Affect Control Theory (BayesACT). The core idea of BayesACT is that humans are motivated in their social interactions by affective alignment: they strive for their social experiences to be coherent at a deep, emotional level with their sense of identity and general worldviews as constructed through culturally shared symbols. This affective alignment creates cohesive bonds between group members, and is instrumental for collaborations to solidify as relational group commitments. I will discuss using this model in the study of online collaborative networks such as GitHub.


Jesse Hoey

Dr. Jesse Hoey is an associate professor in the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo, where he leads the Computational Human Intelligence Laboratory (CHIL). Dr. Hoey holds a Ph.D degree (2004) in computer science from the University of British Columbia. He has published over one hundred peer reviewed scientific papers in highly visible journals and conferences. His recent funded research includes a multinational grant from the Trans-Atlantic Partnership to investigate social coordination in online collaborative networks. Dr. Hoey has received awards from the American Sociological Association, Microsoft, the AAAI, and the International Association for Pattern Recognition. He is an Area Chair for the International Joint Conferences on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI 2019), and was the program chair for the 10th EAI International Conference on Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare (2016). He was the Chair of the Alzheimer’s Association International Society to Advance Alzheimer’s Research and Treatment (ISTAART) Technology Professional Interest Area (TPIA) from 2015-2017. He was a Cheriton Faculty Fellow 2014-2017 and is a Graham Faculty Fellow 2018-2020.