Report on the 2013 Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction Conference (ACII 2013)

By Pun, Thierry; Nijholt, Anton | AI Magazine, Winter 2013 | Go to article overview

Report on the 2013 Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction Conference (ACII 2013)


Pun, Thierry, Nijholt, Anton, AI Magazine


After Beijing in 2005, Lisboa in 2007, Amsterdam in 2009, and Memphis in 2011, more than 200 researchers converged to Geneva, Switzerland, on September 2-5, 2013, for the fifth biannual Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction conference (ACII 2013). Under the auspices of the Humaine Association (now called the Association for the Advancement of Affective Computing, AAAC), the ACII conference series has become an important international forum for research on affective human-machine interaction and intelligent affective systems.

Affect is a phenomenon of substantial importance in most if not all of human activities. This ACII conference therefore strived to emphasize the humanistic side of affective computing by promoting research at the crossroads between engineering and human sciences, including biological, social, and cultural aspects of human life." This has been exemplified by conference topics as varied as computerized psychological emotional modeling; art and cinema studies; gaming; learning; depression, stress, and anxiety management; robots, avatars, and virtual worlds; social media analysis; pattern recognition, classification, and data mining; real-time and embedded affective systems; and others. All have in common affect and emotions, with an emphasis on a computational view of emotion.

A record high 268 submissions were received for the conference: 175 regular papers and 93 papers for the workshops, the doctoral consortium, and the demonstrations. Almost all the submissions were of full length. Each paper was reviewed by at least two experts (most papers received three reviews) and vetted by members of the Senior Program Committee. On the basis of metareviews, 55 out of the 175 regular papers were accepted as oral presentations (31 percent acceptance rate), and an additional 48 papers were accepted for poster presentations (an overall acceptance rate of 59 percent). Similar acceptance rates were reached for the workshops and satellite events. A number of papers were from industry, major ones as well as startups. These figures as well as the participation rate clearly establish the prominent role of ACII in the field. As participants, as well as some outsiders, observed, the whole conference gave an impression of liveliness, dynamism, perhaps even gaiety.

The conference was structured as 3 invited keynote talks, 12 regular sessions (oral), 2 poster sessions, a doctoral consortium (2 oral sessions and posters), a live demonstration session, and an artistic event. If one asks what are the hot technical topics currently addressed by the community, the answer would of course depend on who would reply. The three keynote talks however give a good snapshot of these. Klaus Scherer (University of Geneva) spoke about modeling emotion as dynamically unfolding component processes. He emphasized the importance of computational and dynamic modeling of the different emotion components in the course of a given affective episode. Christine Lisetti (Florida International University) discussed affective computing and wellbeing. She focused on the creation of humanistic affective computing systems that promote healthy lifestyles and well-being, with the need to provide users of such systems with the right intrinsic motivation to use them. Georgios Yannakakis (University of Malta, and IT University of Copenhagen) talked about computer games: challenging, advancing, and realizing affective interaction. He argued that computer games--be they serious or not--are the right platforms to elicit, model, and study complex cognitive, affective, and behavioral responses, thereby advancing research on human-computer interaction at large.

As a special feature of ACII 2013, an hour-long artistic event, called Mood Conductor, was performed by the VoXP band (France), during which the audience had the opportunity to conduct the performers by communicating emotional intentions to them through a smartphone-friendly application. …

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