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Image: picture-alliance/PYMCA/Photoshot/J. Manning

Measuring Emotion

November 3, 2017

Algorithms and robots aim to make human emotions predictable. The technology is already an integral part of most people’s lives and has made them transparent.


Where they are, where they go, what they buy: the Internet knows it all, including its users’ sexual preferences, relationships and political opinions. But does it also recognize human feelings?

Scientists around the world are working on technology that can measure facial expressions, speech and gestures. They are creating avatars that are able to react sensitively to real people and interpret their feelings. This documentary takes viewers to Los Angeles, Boston and Berlin to show what scientists envision for the future and what is already technically possible. Virtual therapists already assist psychologists in diagnosing depression and trauma. "Empathetic" robots serve as teachers’ aides. Data goggles transmit the wearer’s feelings in real time. This constant self-monitoring is designed to enhance personal happiness. But what are these new and fascinating possibilities really doing with their users? How do people decipher emotions and how do machines do it? Guided feelings or intuition - which is more trustworthy? In this documentary, science journalist Ulrich Schnabel takes a closer look at the digital world’s emotional landscape. He shows how algorithms can influence a person’s mood and love life, and what makes feelings such a hot commodity.

Broadcasting Hours:

DW (English)

SAT 16.12.2017 – 19:15 UTC
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SUN 17.12.2017 – 09:15 UTC

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