SC10: Digital Empathy


We will start by looking at the history of digital empathy, slaves and masters, displacing  employment, ethics  and  The  Laws of  Robotics, military  kit and autonomous drones, psychopathic  robots, discussing people's irrational fears on the rise of intelligent machines such as HAL in popular culture books and films.  Next, theories, computational models, algorithms  and   systems  for  detecting,  representing  and responding to  people's emotions and sentiment will  be investigated. Example systems developed for  modelling memories and companionship of older people  with limited  abilities, media accessibility for the hearing and visually impaired, mood swings during  soccer reporting, learner  emotions  during  online  learning of  Physics  and  people's sentiment and emotional reaction towards online videos will be covered.  We will finish with a prognosis for the future and how people and digital souls can work better together by placing their selves in each other's shoes.


Conceptual: To understand what it means for people and machines
to step into each other's shoes.

Methodological: Explaining digital empathy through modelling emotions and


Asimov, Isaac (1950)
"Runaround'' in I, Robot.
New York: Doubleday & Company.

Breazeal, Cynthia (2002)
"Designing Sociable Robots''.
Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press.

Ekman, Paul (2016)
"Nonverbal Messages: Cracking the Code
My Life's Pursuit''.
San Francisco, CA: Paul Ekman Group.

Picard, Rosalind (1997)
"Affective Computing''.
Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

Tegmark, Max (2017)
"Life 3.0: Being human in the age of Artificial Intelligence''
London, England: Allen Lane/Penguin.

Turing, Alan (1950)
"Computing machinery and intelligence''
Mind LIX (236): 433-460.

Winfield, Alan (2011)
"Five roboethical principles – for humans''
New Scientist, No. 2811.

Course location

Hörsaal 4

Course requirements


Instructor information.

Paul Mc Kevitt


Paul  Mc Kevitt  is  Professor Emeritus  at  Ulster University,  Magee Campus,  Derry/Londonderry,  Northern  Ireland.   He has  studied  and worked in the field of  Computer Science at University College Dublin (Ireland),  New  Mexico State  University  (USA),  Exeter and  Sheffield Universities  (England),   Aalborg  University (Denmark)   and  Ulster University.  His research interests are in Natural Language Processing (NLP)  including the  processing of  sentiment, emotions,  beliefs and intentions in dialogue.  He  is also interested in Philosophy, Digital Creativity,  Digital  Empathy  and  the  general  area  of  Artificial Intelligence (AI).   He directed the 23rd  International Loebner Prize Contest  in Artificial Intelligence  (AI) (2013)  held, for  the first time  on the  island of  Ireland,  and The  International Workshop  on Digital Empathy on Halloween Day (2016), at Magee Campus.