Spring 2022 - CMPT 419 D200

Special Topics in Artificial Intelligence (3)

Affective Computing

Class Number: 5581

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 2:30 PM – 4:20 PM
    AQ 3153, Burnaby

    We 2:30 PM – 3:20 PM
    AQ 3153, Burnaby



Current topics in artificial intelligence depending on faculty and student interest.


Emotions play a central role in our daily lives as humans. The field of affective computing studies how emotions can have a major impact in the construction of interactive, intelligent agents and interfaces. This course will cover topics in affective computing as follows. First, theories and models of emotion (including core affect, mood, feelings) from psychological, neuroscientific and computational perspectives will be reviewed. Secondly, we will study techniques for automatic perception of human internal state, including using machine learning to understand sentiment using modalities such as gaze, posture, speech, text, movement and music. Thirdly, synthesis and expression of emotion and empathy in virtual agents, robots, chatbots and synthetic characters will be explored. Finally, we will delve into the implementation of emotion theories, including how to use the above techniques to make more believable, effective, enjoyable, and useful intelligent interactive systems. Pre-requisite: CMPT 310. Note: Two 50-minute lectures will be delivered in real-time during scheduled lecture hours. Online activities will replace one hour of lecture per week, and participation in online discussions will contribute toward the final mark. Written work for this course will be submitted via Turnitin, a third-party service licensed for use by SFU. Turnitin is used for originality checking to help detect plagiarism. Students will be required to create an account with Turnitin, and to submit their work via that account, on the terms stipulated in the agreement between the student and Turnitin. This agreement includes the retention of your submitted work as part of the Turnitin database. Any student with a concern about using the Turnitin service may opt to use an anonymous identity in their interactions with Turnitin. Students who do not intend to use Turnitin in the standard manner must notify the instructor at least two weeks in advance of any submission deadline. In particular, it is the responsibility of any student using the anonymous option (i.e., false name and temporary email address created for the purpose) to inform the instructor such that the instructor can match up the anonymous identity with the student.


  • Psychological theories of emotion
  • Neuroscientific perspectives of emotion
  • Physiology of emotion
  • Computational models of affect
  • Robots / agents that "have" emotion
  • Multimodal affect recognition
  • Expression of emotion by robots / agents / synthetic characters
  • Social signal processing
  • Speech/sound processing and synthesis
  • Visual processing of human behaviour
  • Affect detection in text
  • Affect elicitation and user studies
  • Machine empathy
  • Ethical implications of affective computing
  • Applications in socially interactive systems


  • Online Participation 10%
  • Assignments 45%
  • Final Group Project 45%


Grading subject to change



Affective Computing, Picard, R. W, MIT PRESS, 2000
ISBN: 9780262661157

The Oxford Handbook of Affective Computing, Calvo, R. A., S. K. D'Mello, J. Gratch, et al, Oxford University Press, 2014
ISBN: 9780199942237

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in spring 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with safety plans in place.  Some courses will still be offered through remote methods, and if so, this will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the spring 2022 term.