The attempt to automatically recognize boredom [podcast 67]

Can a machine reliably recognize when a human is bored? That is the central question in this week’s Improbable Research podcast.

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This week, Marc Abrahams  — with dramatic readings by Nicole Sharp — tells about:

  • How to automatically recognize boredom — “A Preliminary System for Recognizing Boredom,” Allison M. Jacobs, Benjamin Fransen, J. Malcolm McCurry, Frederick W.P. Heckel, Alan R. Wagner, and J. Gregory Trafton, Proceedings of the 4th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human Robot Interaction, 2009, pp. 299-300.boredom
  • “Please stop. I’m bored.” — Boredom, especially the prevention of it, is ever on the minds of the organizers of the annual Ig Nobel Prize ceremony. This video shows one of our most successful methods at prevention. The method is called “Miss Sweetie Poo”:

The mysterious John Schedler or the shadowy Bruce Petschek perhaps did the sound engineering this week.

The Improbable Research podcast is all about research that makes people LAUGH, then THINK — real research, about anything and everything, from everywhere —research that may be good or bad, important or trivial, valuable or worthless. CBS distributes it, on the CBS web site, and on iTunes and Spotify).