Prof. Stacy Marsella, BA, MS, PhD, Northeastern University and University of Glasgow
Engineering the Impact of Emotion on Human Behavior


Computational models of human behavior are used in a wide range of artifacts. The synergy between psychology and the engineering of these artifacts is the subject of "Engineering the Impact of Emotion on Human Behavior", a talk by Stacy Marsella of Northeastern University and the University of Glasgow. The talk is part of OFAI's 2023 Winter/Spring Lecture Series.

Members of the public are cordially invited to attend the talk via Zoom on Wednesday, May 17th at 18:30 CEST (UTC+2):

Meeting ID: 842 8244 2460
Passcode: 678868

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Talk abstract: Computational models of human behavior are used in a wide range of artifacts. At a large scale, social simulations are being used, for example, to explore people’s response to a natural disaster. At a medium-scale, models of human decision-makers are being used to study social technical systems such as the pharmaceutical drug supply networks. At the individual scale, work on human-robot and human-agent interaction seeks to facilitate interaction by giving artificial agents models of their human partners. At the extreme of modeling individual human behavior, virtual replicas of humans are being crafted, facsimiles of people that can engage people in face-to-face interactions using the same verbal and nonverbal behavior people use. The designs of these various models heavily leverage psychological theories and data. Psychology and the social sciences, in turn, use these computational artifacts as means to formulate, test, and explore theories about human behavior. In this talk, I will first give a brief overview of my group’s work in social simulation, social technical systems, HRI and virtual humans. Then I will exemplify the synergy between psychology and the engineering of these artifacts from the perspective of my group’s work on developing and applying computational models of emotion.

Speaker biography: Stacy Marsella is a professor at Northeastern University, USA, Khoury College of Computer Sciences with a joint appointment in psychology and at the University of Glasgow, UK, Centre for Social, Cognitive & Affective Neuroscience. Prior to joining Northeastern, he was a research professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Southern California and a research director at the Institute for Creative Technologies. Previously, he held positions at USC’s Information Sciences Institute and Bell Labs. Marsella’s multidisciplinary research is grounded in the computational modeling of human cognition, emotion, and social behavior, as well as the evaluation of those models. Beyond its relevance to understanding human behavior, the work has seen numerous applications, including health interventions, social skills training, and planning operations. His applied work includes frameworks for large-scale social simulations and a range of techniques and tools for creating virtual humans, facsimiles of people that can engage in face-to-face interactions.