An article in the Calcutta Telegraph reports on a joint Indo-Japanese research project to enable robots to recognize and respond to human facial expressions. According to Debashish Majumdar, the joint project director at the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) in Calcutta,
“The Japanese tourist industry hopes to bridge language barriers with computers interpreting the likes and dislikes of foreign travellers from their facial expressions. Such software can also be used to help children, senior citizens and others who are mentally or physically challenged.”
The study is particularly interesting to us given the major cultural, and therefore body language, differences between India, Japan, and most Western cultures. Results of the study should find significant application in improving both human-robot and human-human communication.