PROJECT: H.E.P.C.A.T. Will Teach a Computer Human Emotion

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PROJECT: H.E.P.C.A.T. (Human Emotion Programming for Computer Application Technology) is a global project to teach a computer human emotion.

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Can a computer be taught human emotion? And if so, what are the implications? Would the computer be able to respond and reason with human emotion? That is the intent of this global initiative. The team members of this project will build a database of human emotion based on a list developed by Shaver, Schwartz, Kirson, and O’Connor (2001). A website interface will be programmed to allow users to input, or program, the server with simple “makes me feel…” statements. The server will then be programmed to respond to commands based on the database of emotions and the input from users. The standard format for lab experiments was used to present the information for this project.


A computer can learn human emotion from users.


The biggest asset to this experiment will be the expertise and labor of the professionals involved. However, there are still a few tangible items that are needed to make this project happen. This is basically how the funds will be allocated:

·Dedicated Server (Windows Based) : 20%

·Firewall (Usually provided by server leasing company) : .1%

·Domain Name (Official domain name is to be determined) : .1%

·Client Computer (Windows based, ASP.NET Programming) : 1%

This list will be updated as the project proceeds. The remainder of funding will be allocated to the following:

Marketing Campaigns: 40%

Professional Fees: 30%

Research and Development : 8.8%


Phase 1

Step 1: Build the emotions database.

The most important part of this whole project is the database of emotions that the computer will refer to. This database will store all of the emotions classified below:

Affection: adoration, affection, love, fondness, liking, attraction, caring, tenderness, compassion, sentimentality
Lust: arousal, desire, lust, passion, infatuation
Longing: longing
Cheerfulness: amusement, bliss, cheerfulness, gaiety, glee, jolliness, joviality, joy, delight, enjoyment, gladness, happiness, jubilation, elation, satisfaction, ecstasy, euphoria
Zest: enthusiasm, zeal, zest, excitement, thrill, exhilaration
Contentment: contentment, pleasure
Pride: pride, triumph
Optimism: eagerness, hope, optimism
Enthrallment: Enthrallment, rapture
Relief: relief
Surprise: amazement, surprise, astonishment
Irritation: aggravation, irritation, agitation, annoyance, grouchiness, grumpiness
Exasperation: exasperation, frustration
Rage: anger, rage, outrage, fury, wrath, hostility, ferocity, bitterness, hate, loathing, scorn, spite, vengefulness, dislike, resentment
Disgust: disgust, revulsion, contempt
Envy: envy, jealousy
Torment: torment
Suffering: agony, suffering, hurt, anguish
Sadness: depression, despair, hopelessness, gloom, glumness, sadness, unhappiness, grief, sorrow, woe, misery, melancholy
Disappointment: dismay, disappointment, displeasure
Shame: guilt, shame, regret, remorse
Neglect: alienation, isolation, neglect, loneliness, rejection, homesickness, defeat, dejection, insecurity, embarrassment, humiliation, insult
Sympathy: pity, sympathy
Horror: alarm, shock, fear, fright, horror, terror, panic, hysteria, mortification
Nervousness: anxiety, nervousness, tenseness, uneasiness, apprehension, worry, distress, dread
(Shaver, Schwartz, Kirson, and O’Connor, 2001)

Each tertiary emotion will have several, if not hundreds of parameters that will be programmed by an expert on emotions. Parameters would include human physiological responses, word and color association, facial expression association, sound association, etc.

Step 2: Build the interface.

An interface is needed to allow users to input data that will be associated with one of the tertiary emotions. A website will be used to allow users to input data to another database that will store the associations provided by the users. The programming for the website will use Microsoft’s ASP.NET because of its versatility.

Step 3: Promote the project.

The second most important element to this project is the actual data collected from the users of the website. This data will be used to make associations that ultimately the computer will be able to “predict” and then “react” with the associated emotion. This project will not succeed without the data from users. This step of the project could take up to two years to have enough data to proceed to the next phase. Several marketing campaigns will be run at this point in the project to gain traffic to the website.

Phase 2:

Step 1: Develop algorithmic associations.

Once sufficient amounts of data have been collected by users, algorithmic associations will then be programmed manually and dynamically. These associations will allow the computer to associate emotions with user input or scanned data.

Step 2: Develop live scanning to get current emotional state.

Now that the first version of associations has been developed, the next step is to have the computer scan the internet for current events and then react emotionally. The computer’s emotional state will be displayed live via the internet interface.

Step 3: Develop user interaction with computer.

A simple interface will be developed for the website to allow users to interact with the computer. These interactions would include typed text, photo submission, facial recognition, spoken words, and any other digital communication method. The computer will react emotionally to the input from the users. This is when the “family member” roles become relevant. The computer will prioritize input and reactions based on relationships with the users. Family members will be trusted the most, while regular users who develop rapport with the computer will become “friendlier” and more trusted.

Phase 3:

Step 1: Develop mobile applications.

More users are using mobile devices for their internet needs. A mobile based website and application need to be developed. A mobile based website and application will more than likely be developed in step 2 of phase 1, but this is where the focus will shift to.

Step 2: Develop social media applications.

Social media applications will allow the computer to gain more information from the user with less interaction. Any status updates could be sent to the computer to give the user’s current emotional status based on the communications being sent.

Step 3: Develop training and simulation programs.

At this point in the project, there should be sufficient data to create a simulation program to train professionals and students. The computer’s emotional status can be set in order to have the user issue commands to improve the computer’s emotion. It could also be used to help users with social behavioral problems.

Step 4: Research and develop current project.

As the database grows and technology improves, there will always be a strong allocation of resources to research and development. The focus of research and development will vary throughout the project and may depend on data results. Currently, the focus is on developing the computer server environment and the databases.

Step 5: Maintain funding.

Several funding campaigns will be used throughout the project to pay the long-term overhead costs of maintaining a computer server and any fees charged by professionals for their work on the project. However, a majority of the funding will go to research and development and any required marketing campaigns to draw users to the website interface.


This project has not yet started; there are no results to report on.


This project has not yet started; there is not yet a conclusion.

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Matthew Job
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