Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) has launched a joint industrial PhD program with Xinhuanet in the research area of Social Internet of Things (IoT), smart textiles, and physiological computing. Xinhuanet Co. Ltd. is a key website in China with global influence, sponsored by Xinhua News Agency, the Chinese national news agency. The Distributed and Interactive Systems (DIS) group, together with Xinhuanet, has hired a fulltime PhD student, who will work together with Dr. Pablo Cesar and Dr. Abdallah El Ali, and with the Future Media Convergence Institute at Xinhuanet. The program provides the unique opportunity for conducting research in a top research institute in Europe, based on real-world problems related to healthcare or to the creative industries. This project additionally strengthens bilateral relationships between CWI and Xinhuanet.
DIS explores the use of smart textiles and wearable sensors as a source for collecting reliable and quantified data about everyday life experiences (see images above). In particular, the group is are interested in better understanding social IoT in the environment of smart cities. Based on realistic testing grounds, collaborating with several commercial and academic partners, we have deployed our technology and infrastructure in places such as the National Theatre of China in Shanghai and the Amsterdam Dance Event in the Netherlands. The final objective is to create intelligent and empathic systems that can react to the experience of users. Specifically, we will develop techniques for audience and crowd emotion sensing and recognition in real-time and distributed in-the-wild environments.
The project sits at the intersection of research in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Human Computer Interaction (HCI). It will connect AI methods in multimodal emotion recognition with real-world user interaction paradigms to enable robust machine perception of audience and crowd activity. This project will help advance methods in both AI and HCI, and aid in redefining how we collectively interact with intelligent emotion-aware systems.