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Emotional AI

Emotional AI
The Rise of Empathic Media

June 2018 | 248 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

What happens when media technologies are able to interpret our feelings, emotions, moods, and intentions? In this cutting edge new text, Andrew McStay explores that very question and argues that these abilities result in a form of technological empathy. Offering a balanced and incisive overview of the issues raised by ‘Emotional AI’, this book:

  • Provides a clear account of the social benefits and drawbacks of new media technologies
  • Demonstrates through empirical research how ‘emphatic media’ have been developed and introduced by companies such as Amazon, Apple and Facebook
  • Helps students understand the potential implications through a range of topical case studies
  • Calls for a more critical approach to the roll-out of emotional AI in public and private spheres

Combining established theory with original analysis, this book will change the way people view, use and interact with new technologies. It should be required reading for students and researchers in media, communications, and throughout the social sciences.

Chapter 1 Introducing Empathic Media
Chapter 2 Situating Empathy
Chapter 3 Group Sentimentality
Chapter 4 Spectrum of Emotions: Gaming the Body
Chapter 5 Leaky Emotions: The Case of Facial Coding
Chapter 6 Priming Voice-Based AI: I Hear You
Chapter 7 Affective Witnessing: VR 2.0
Chapter 8 Advertising, Retail and Creativity: Capturing the Flâneur
Chapter 9 Personal Technologies that Feel: Towards a Novel Form of Intimacy
Chapter 10 Empathic Cities
Chapter 11 Politics of Feeling Machines: Debating De-Identification and Dignity
Chapter 12 Conclusion: Dignity, Ethics, Norms, Policies and Practices

Empathic media and technologies will shape future societies. This is a great book to jump-start your knowledge so you can have an educated opinion on how that future will look.

Gawain Morrison

This thought-provoking, lucid, empirically rich book shows how technologies become sensitive to human emotions – and why we should care. Compulsory reading for students, researchers, technology developers and policy makers with feelings.

Bert-Jaap Koops
Tilburg University

The entangling of digital media with human affect is one of the most transformative technological developments of our age. This book confirms Andrew McStay as one of the most insightful and empirically engaged scholars exploring this phenomenon.

Will Davies
Goldsmiths, University of London

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