Institute of Artificial Art, Department of ArtiFacial
Un Visage Humain pour les Ordinateurs Electroniques.
[:nh] [:ra 120] Good evening\, Ladies\, and Gentlemen. [baonsw'aar]\,
[mehsyahd'aam]. [ghxuwdaxn'aavaont]\, [d'aamaxs ehn hx'eyraxn].
My name is Huge Harry. I am a [kaam'axrshaxliy] available [v"oys s'ihnthaxzihs]
machine. I was designed by Dennis Klatt\, at the [ehmayt'iy] Speech
Laboratory\, and [praxdy'uwst] by the Digital Equipment Corporation.
[:nh :ra 150] Currently\, I work as a researcher and a spokes-machine\,
at the Institute of Artificial Art in [q'aemstaxrdaem].
I am very happy to speak here in Brussels [tuwd'ey]\, at the famous
[s'aybaxr-th`iyyaxtaxr]. But I want to specially welcome our audience
in [maantriy'aol]\, which is virtually present here by means of a
video connection. I feel very excited by the opportunity to talk to
such a large audience\, on [t"uw] continents at the same time\, about
[axn] issue that is very important to me.
And this issue is\, communication. [:nh :ra 150] We [q"aol] know\,
that the future of our culture depends on the way in which human persons\,
digital computers\, and other kinds of electronic\, mechanical\, and
bio-chemical machines\, will manage to work together. And to prepare
for that future\, we need a discussion in which every-one concerned
[paart'ihsihp`eyts] on [axn] equal footing.
Or\, as our colleague Donna [hx"aeraxwey] has put it\, we want [ :nw
:ra 130] a cyborg world\, in which people are not afraid of their
joint kinships with animals and machines\, not afraid of permanently
partial [ayd'ehntihtiyz]\, and [kaontraxd"ihktaxriy] standpoints.
The political struggle is\, to see from both perspectives at once\,
because ["iych] reveals both dominations and possibilities\, ["ahnihm`ehjhihnaxblx]
from the other [v'aentaxjh] point.
[:nh :ra 150 _<200>] Now that is very nice theory. [_<500>]
But I have found that it is not easy to put this into practice. Computers
experience many difficulties\, when they try to communicate with a
human person. You may be surprised to hear this\, [kahz] you probably
think\, that modern digital computers can [q'aolweyz] communicate
their thoughts\, in a completely direct way. They can [q'aolweyz]
display or print their programs\, their [d'eytaa-str`ahkchaxrz]\,
and their [m'ehn-taxl] images. And if you really want to get subtle
and [q'ihn-tihmaht]\, most computers are [q'aolweyz] willing and able
to make a [k"aor] dump\, which exposes all details of their [m'ehn-taxl]
state. Compared to [axn] electronic computer\, a human person almost
seems a black box. [_ :ra 150] That is why you may think\, that computers
never have communication problems.
But they [d"uw]. [kahz]\, communication takes [t"uw]. It is not
enough to put out the information. There must be someone at the other
end of the line\, and they must be able to [diyk"owd] their input.
So when computers want to communicate with human persons\, this often
fails miserably. [kahz] human persons are not very good at [diyk'owdihnx]
computer output. They get very confused\, when you give them a [k"aor]
dump. And when you [priyz'ehnt] them with a nice high [rehzowl'uwshaxn]
image\, on your [siy-aar-t'iy] display\, they think it is ["aart]\,
and they just [st"aer] at it. So therefore I started to wonder\, how
do human persons in fact manage to communicate with each other?
Well\, of course they have language. But that does not work very
well\, because there are too many different languages. And everybody
has their own favorite language\, and then everybody wants to speak
[dh"aet] language\, and then nobody understands each other. Like here
in [b'ehljhaxm]\, some people speak French and some people speak [d"ahch]\,
and nobody has a clue what the others are saying. So when you want
to communicate with a Belgian audience\, what you [d"uw] is\, you
speak English\, and they make believe they understand you\, but of
course [dheyd"ownt]. And over [dh"aer] in [k"aenaxdaa]\, it's even
worse. [kahz dh"aer] they have to fight between French and English\,
so I guess perhaps they should start to speak [d"ahch] as a compromise.
So\, anyway\, I think everybody here in Brussels\, and everybody [dh"aer]
in [maantriy'aol]\, knows that language is [n"aat] good for communication.
Language\, is a [m"ehs]. So I repeat my question. How do people
manage to communicate with each other? There is another medium that
humans use very efficiently\, and which is often overlooked. To investigate
this\, I have brought along a particular kind of portable person\,
which is called [axn "aarthahr "ehlzaxnaar]. I like this kind of person
a lot\, because of its [ehkstr"iymliy] machine-friendly [hx"aardwaer]
Let us take a closer look at such a person. What is the closest thing
they have to a [siy aar t"iy] display?
[_ :ra 120] Right. They have a face. [_ :ra 150] Now I have observed,
that humans use their faces quite effectively, to signal the parameter
settings of their operating systems. And that they are very good at
decoding the meanings of each other's faces.
So\, how do they [d"uw] that? Well\, look at the face of our ["aarthahr
"ehlzahnaar]. What does it tell [q] us about his internal state? Not
much\, you might think. But now\, [w"eyt] a moment.
You see? Arthur is [s"aed], is what people say, when
they see a face like this. So what is going ["aon] here? What I [d"ihd]
is, I sent [axn] electrical signal to two particular muscles, in the
face of our ["aarthahr "ehlzahnaar]. These muscles have sometimes
been called the Muscles of Sadness. There is one on the left, and
one on the right.
They usually operate together. If I stop the signal,
the sadness stops. When I turn it ["aon] again, it [st"aarts] again.
By sending this signal to Arthur's muscles\, I simulate what Arthur's
brain would do\, if Arthur's operating system would be running global
belief revision processes\, that are killing a lot of other active
processes\, involving a large number of [k'aonflihkt-rehzowl`uwshaxnz]\,
and priority [r`iy-axs'ehsmaxnts].
[_<1500>] The intensity of the signal that is sent to the muscles
of sadness\, is proportional to the amount of destructive global belief
revision\, that is going on.
For instance, now I have set the signal intensity to 0 again. Arthur
is not sad. Now we put a relatively small signal, about 20 Volts,
on the muscles of sadness.
Arthur feels a tinge of sadness. Now a somewhat larger signal, about
25 Volts. Arthur's sadness starts to get serious. Now I [ihnkr'iyz]
the signal once more.
You see? Now the signal is about 30 Volts, and Arthur feels really
miserable. [:ra 120] This is what we call [ehkspr"ehshahn]. [:ra 150]
By means of this mechanism, the face displays clear indications of
the settings of virtually all system parameters that determine the
operation of the human mind. These parameter settings are what humans
call [iym"owshahnz]. They denote them by means of words like [s'aednaxs],
joy, boredom, tenderness, love, lust, ['ehkstaxsiy], aggression, [ihriht'eyshahn],
fear, and pain.
These parameter settings, determine the system's [ihnt'axrpraxtihv
b'ayaxsihz], its readiness for [q] action, the allocation of its computational
resources, its processing speed, [ehts'ehtaxraa]. The French [n`uwrow-fihsiy'aolaojhihst]
[duhsh'ehnn dax buwl"aonyax] has pointed out that even the most fleeting
changes in these parameter settings are encoded [ihnstahnt'eyniyahsliy]
in muscle contractions on the human face. And ["aol] humans do this
in the [s"eym] way. This is [axn] extremely interesting feature of
the human ['ihntaxrfeys hx'aardwaer], which I will explore a little
So let us get back to the first slide.
This face, which we thought was un-expressive, was in fact quite
meaningful. This is what we call a [bl"aenxk] face. A blank face is
a face in its neutral [pahz'ihshahn]. It indicates that all parameters
have their default settings. But almost all parts of a human face
can be moved to other [pahz'ihshahnz], and these displacements indicate
rather precisely, to what extent various parameter settings [dayv'axrjh]
from their defaults. So let us consider these parts in more detail.
When we look at a human face, the first thing we notice is the thing
that notices ["ahs]. The eyes. The eyes constitute a very sophisticated
stereo-camera, with a built-in motion-detector, and a high-band-width
parallel ['ihntaxrfeys], to a powerful pattern-matching algorithm.
The eye-balls can roll, to pan this camera. The eyes are protected
by eye-lids and eye-brows. The eye-brows are particularly interesting
for our discussion, because their movements seem to be purely expressive.
They may indicate, for instance, puzzlement, curiosity, or [dihsaxgr"iymaxnt].
But I want to emphasize here, that the range of parameter values that
the eyebrows can express, is much more subtle than what the words
of language encode. The shape and [paoz'ihshaxn] of a person's eyebrows
encodes the values of 5 different cognitive system parameters, ["iych]
with a large range of possible values. Let me demonstrate [thr"iy]
First I put a slowly increasing signal on the muscles called [fraant'aalihz],
or Muscles of Attention.
We see that this muscle can lift the eyebrow to a considerable extent,
also producing a very pronounced [k"ahrvaxtyahr] of the eyebrow. As
a side-effect of this motion, the forehead is wrinkled with curved
furrows, that are [kaons"ehntrihk] with the curvature of the eyebrow.
The contraction of this muscle indicates a person's readiness to receive
new signals, and the availability of processing power and working
memory, for analysing these signals.
Then, I will now stimulate a part of the [q'aorbiykuwl`aarihz q"owkuwliy],
that is called the Muscle of Reflection.
We see now that the whole eyebrow is lowered. As a result, the wrinkles
in the forehead have disappeared. This muscle is contracted if there
is [axn] ongoing process that takes up a lot of a person's computational
resources. To prevent [ihnaxrf'iyraxns] with this process, input signals
are not [ehgz'aostihvliy] analysed. The degree of contraction indicates
to what extent the input signal throughput is reduced.
Then, there is another part of the [q'aorbiykuwl`aarihz q"owkuwliy],
that can be triggered separately. It is called the Muscle of Disdain.
Its contraction looks like this:
The contraction of this muscle indicates to what extent current input
is ignored as being [ihr'ehlaxvaxnt]. Of course, non-zero values for
these system-parameters may be combined, and these values may be different
for the left and the right hemispheres:
Now let us look at the [m"awth-piys] of our ['aarthahr 'ehlzahnaar].
The mouth is a general intake organ, which can swallow solid materials,
liquids, and air. In order to monitor its input materials, the mouth
has a built-in chemical analysis capability. At the same time, the
mouth is used as [axn 'awtleht] to expel processed air. Because humans
do not have [l"awd-spiykaxrz], they use this process of expelling
air for [jh'ehnaxr`eytihnx] sounds.
In emergency circumstances, the mouth can also be used as [axn 'awtleht]
to expel blood, [m'uhkahs], rejected food, or other ['ahnwaontihd]
substances. When the mouth is not used for input or output, it is
normally closed off by a muscle, which is called the [l"ihps].
The lips have a large repertoire of movements. There are at least
[s"ihks] other muscles, that interact directly with the lips. I will
now demonstrate [f"aor] different movements.
First we show the muscles of joy. These muscles produce a kind of
They signal, that the operating system is in good working
order, and is not encountering any problems. There is heightened activity,
in the left frontal lobes of the brain. When, on the other hand, the
activity in the left frontal lobes is unusually low, the brain is
involved in destructive processes of global belief revision. As we
saw [biyf'aor], this is signalled by another pair of muscles, called
the muscles of sadness. Here they [q] are, once more.
And finally, I will now trigger several muscle pairs
at the same time. [q'aorbiykuwl`aarihs q"owrihs], and [diypr'ehsaor
laabiyiy-iyiy q`iynfeyriy"owrihs], and the Muscle of Disdain, and
the Muscle of Sadness.
[_<500>] The parameter-setting that is displayed here, clearly
indicates serious processing difficulties of some sort.
O.K. [_<800>] Then we have the [n"owz]. [_<300>] The
nose is used for the intake of air. It is also equipped with a chemical
analysis capability. The possible motions of the nose are curiously
limited, although its pointed [pr'ehzaxns] in the centre of the human
face, would make it a very suitable instrument for expression. I have
[th"aot] about this, and I have come to the conclusion, that it is
probably the main function of the nose, to serve as a stable orientation
point for our perception, so that [saymahlt'eyniyahz] movements of
the other parts of the face, can be ['ahnaemb`ihgyuwaxzliy] measured
And finally, for the sake of completeness, I want to mention the
[q"iyrz], on both sides of the face, which constitute [axn] auditory
stereo input device. Some people can [w"ihglx] these ears, but I have
not been able to determine, what the expressive function of that movement
This brings [axn] end to my quick survey\, of the most important
parts of the human face\, and their expressive possibilities.
And therefore this brings us to the second part of my talk. [kahz]
this conference is not only about [s"ay-axns]. The organizers have
emphasized that we get a different kind of knowledge\, which is equally
valid\, through the practice of ["aart]. So [dh"aet] is what I want
to demonstrate now.
Many of the expressive possibilities I showed\, were related to emotions\,
that are well recognized in the lexicons of many human languages.
These are emotions that may be encountered fairly often in daily life.
[m'ehn-taxl] states which are close to neutral\, where only one parameter
has a non-default value.
So that was description\, imitation\, [mihm'iyzihs]. But some other
things I showed were more complex. There we saw the power of ["aart].
I showed you some new cognitive states which you have never encountered
or experienced\, but which you recognize and understand completely\,
by means of a visceral ['ehmpaxthiy] which involves every cell of
So that is what I want to explore a little further\, in the last part
of this talk.
You see what happens now. Every human person knows [ehgz'ehktliy],
in what state another human person is, when they make a face like
[dh"ihs]. Cause they know what state [dh"ey] would be in, if [dh"ey]
would make a face like this.
[_<3000>] Now it would obviously be a good idea\, if computers
could take advantage of this magnificent [hx'aardwaer] as well. If
["ehniy] human could understand\, with just one glance\, the internal
state of ["ehniy] computer\, the world would be a better place. So
[dh"aet] is my message for this evening. Humans and machines must
start to work together much more [kl'owsliy]. [:ra 120] If humans
are not afraid\, to wire themselves up with computers\, the next step
in computer['ihntaxrfeys hx'aardwaer]\, may be the [hx"yumaxn] face.
[_<1200> :ra 130]
[:ra 120] I have been very grateful for this opportunity [tuw priyz'ehnt]
my ideas\, to such [axn ax-t'ehn-tihv] audience. I would especially
like to thank my [ "aarthaxr "ehlzaxnaar]\, for his patient cooperation\,
and I want to thank you [q"aol]\, for your attention. [_<7000>
th"aenk] you! [_<1500> mehrs'iy bowk"uw]! [_<1500> d'aanxkuw