Re: COMP/ART: Emoitonal Mark-Up Language

Date: Sun Feb 11 2001 - 11:04:35 MST

In a message dated 2/1/01 2:35:56 PM Central Standard Time,
> In a message dated 1/31/01 6:07:08 AM, writes:
> >With the rapid improvement in 3-D avatar generation (see,
> >etc.), it seems like there might be a place for development of some
> >standard
> >system of machine-readable annotation for human emotional expression.
> >I think of this as a system of "Emotional Mark-Up Language" or "EML".
> What a clever idea, Greg!

Thanks - I thought so :-)
> So long as those applying EML concern themselves mostly with appearances
> opposed to the sort of complex internal states--like anomie, nostalgia,
> transcendent ecstacy, and so forth--the description of which novelists
> specialize in), I should think that it would suffice for EML to correlate
> directly with face muscles. Consider, for instance, that recent research
> suggests that analysis of the muscles involved can distinguish between
> (read, "consciously generated") and genuine smiles.

Actually, I envision EML as developing in stages corresponding to different
"levels" in a fully mature EML:

"Level 1 EML" is confined to strictly descriptive terms corresponding to
actuation of the human muscular/affective system, i.e. the "appearances" you
talk about, Tom. The vast majority of terms in "Level 1 EML" would address
the activity of facial musculature, although whole-body gestural positioning
should also be included.

"Level 2 EML" would be in essence a programming language for scripting
streams of Level 1 commands. I can foresee a healthy market developing for
various useful and interesting scripts.

"Level 3 EML" would add a higher level of structure and would amount to a
"Character Mark-up Language" (CML) or "Personality Mark-up Language" (PML).
The idea with Level 3 EML would be to group Level 2 scripts into
characteristic program calls specific to individual personalities or
characters. Thus, Level 3 EML achieves expression of the "complex internal
states" you mention, Tom. I envision a programming tool that would allow an
author to specify personality traits for a character that would automagically
craft characteristic Level 2 scripts in response to high-level terms such as
the ones you mention, e.g. anomie, nostalgia, etc. An EML author could tweak
these automatic scripting parameters to generate a "personality type" for a
character. At that point, one could see crafting interactive environments in
which calls are made to Level 3 EML terms, which activate Level 2 scripts
specific to particular characters. Thus, a dark, chaotic VR setting
containing threats to a character's safety could invoke "fear", and each
character would express that emotion in their characteristic way. Likewise,
the occurrence of verbal input could generate specific Level 2 scripts from a
"virtual person" based on their Level 3 "character traits".

       Greg Burch <>----<>
      Attorney ::: Vice President, Extropy Institute ::: Wilderness Guide -or-
                                           ICQ # 61112550
        "We never stop investigating. We are never satisfied that we know
        enough to get by. Every question we answer leads on to another
       question. This has become the greatest survival trick of our species."
                                          -- Desmond Morris

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