Andrew McStay, Bangor Univ. &

Andrew McStay, Bangor Univ. &

Andrew McStay is Professor of Digital Life at Bangor University, and co-founder of Eleos, a consultancy that provide insight on how to do the right thing by citizens with technologies that use intimate and sensitive data. McStay’s recent book, Emotional AI: The Rise of Empathic Media, examines the impact of technologies that make use of data about affective and emotional life. Current projects include study of emotional AI, children and parents, and (separately) cross-cultural analysis of emotional AI in UK and Japan. Non-academic work includes IEEE membership (P7000/7014) and ongoing advising roles for start-ups, NGOs and policy bodies.

Empathic Technologies: Landscape, Ethics, Citizens

Once off-limits, bodies in private spaces and public fora are being tested by “empathic” technologies that make inferences about emotions, feelings, moods, perspective, attention and intention. Contexts include cities, workplaces, transport, security, retail, marketing, homes, devices, media content, toys, and even relationships with our own emotional lives. These raise practical as well as lofty philosophical questions.

In his talk, McStay will discuss the landscape of emotion-sensing and empathic technologies. Citing a diverse set of use cases, McStay will assess empathic technologies in public and private domestic spaces. Drawing on recent UK-wide survey work and focus groups with parents, McStay will also outline concerns, ethical questions and opportunities for developers of empathic technologies. He will conclude with suggestions of how citizens of all ages are best served by technologies that function in relation to qualitative dimensions of human life.


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