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Computers can detect if you are bored and change programs to regenerate interest, study

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Researchers have developed a new algorithm that can tell whether a person is getting bored or enjoying the sitting while using computers. The new discovery can take artificial intelligence and machine learning to next level. It can also help in designing empathetic robots that will share feelings just like humans do.

Lead researcher Dr Harry Witchel from the Brighton and Sussex Medical School in the UK said that computers can identify if a person is losing interest in what he/she is doing or not and then computers can manipulate or change the activities to rejuvenate the person.

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While explaining Witchel said that when a person is interested in something then he avoids involuntary movements like moving a little, changing positions, etc, just like kids don’t move while watching cartoons and they constantly gaze at the TV. Similarly, a person moves or shows involuntary movements when he loses interest in something.

This mechanism can be used to tell whether a person is interested in the programs or activities running on computers or not. Researchers can install a camera on the computer that will monitor activities of the person and will tell the computer about every minute movements. After that, the newly developed algorithm will come into play which will change the program accordingly to make the person interested again.

To prove the theory, researchers conducted the study on 27 participants. Every participant was showed different programs including games, reading, music, cartoons, etc, for over three minutes. Study authors then tracked the movement of every participant with respect to programs displayed on the monitor.

It was found that more engaging programs like reading resulted in 42 percent reduction in the involuntary movement when compared to the activities like listening music and watching videos.

According to study authors, the research can have significant impact on the future of artificial intelligence and it can help in designing a more engaging online tutorial system. More importantly, it will enable development of empathetic robots that will read a person’s mind and will accompany them in the down times.

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