Towards an affective self-service agent
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While emotional intelligence plays a key role in facilitating satisfactory interactions between people, its application is both underexplored and underexploited in Human-Computer Interaction. Self-service technology is increasingly being incorporated by goods and service providers, however user satisfaction is still less than ideal. Studies have been carried out in which an affective embodied agent has been found to reduce frustration in users of interactive computer systems. This paper presents a preliminary study as a part of research aimed at designing and implementing an agent which detects negative emotions in a human user and expresses its own emotional reaction with the aim of improving the user’s mood and therefore their level of satisfaction in the context of a self-service interaction. We describe a study to determine customer facial expressions using facial Action Units (AUs) during interactions with self-service supermarket checkouts. Our preliminary results indicate that AU 23 and AU 24 were displayed with particular frequency.