Call: Emotional Machines: Perspectives from Affective Computing and Emotional Human-Machine Interaction (interdisciplinary conference)

Interdisciplinary Conference:
Emotional Machines. Perspectives from Affective Computing and Emotional Human-Machine Interaction
September 21-22, 2017 at the Institute of Philosophy, University of Stuttgart, Germany

Free with registration

Humans have emotions, machines do not. This seems to be a truism: Human beings are made of flesh and blood; they do not just act rationally but impulsively and emotionally. They make decisions, feel attracted to objects or subjects or repelled by them. They mourn others, are in a good mood or suffer from depression. But what about machines? At first glance machines and emotions seem to be at odds with each other. We program machines and they calculate without any emotions. However, if we take a closer look, things are not so clear: machines are today able to recognize and react to emotions, and according to their designers some even possess emotions.

Interdisciplinary research on emotions in machines has been divided until now in two branches of research which have so far been largely unrelated: affective computing and emotional human-machine interaction. By associating these two branches and by combining technological perspectives with the humanities and social sciences, we hope to provide a forum for research on machines that are supposed to be equipped with emotions and/or are capable of interacting emotionally with humans.

The aim of this conference is to bring together international top researchers who work on emotional machines from different disciplines to discuss questions related to the topic from various perspectives, for instance:

  • Can machines have emotions?
  • How do machines elicit emotions?
  • How do humans react to emotional machines?
  • Do we need emotional machines?
  • How to design an emotional machine?
  • How do people interact with emotional machines?
  • How do the arts approach this topic?
  • What purposes may emotional machines serve?
  • What is possible from a technical point of view?
  • Which ethical considerations are indispensable?


  • Christoph Bartneck <University of Canterbury>
  • Joost Broekens <Delft University of Technology>
  • Lola Canamero <University of Hertfordshire>
  • Giovanna Colombetti <University of Exeter>
  • Luisa Damiano <Universita’ degli Studi di Messina>
  • Manfred Hild <Beuth Hochschule fuer Technik Berlin>
  • Eva Hudlicka <University of Massachusetts Amherst>
  • Karl F. MacDorman <Indiana University>
  • Sean Patten <Gob Squad, Berlin


Prof. Dr. Catrin Misselhorn
(Director of the Institute of Philosophy, University of Stuttgart)

Maike Klein
(Institute of Philosophy, University of Stuttgart)


Participation is free, but please register with or

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