Breaking Barriers with an Emotion Translator: A Glimpse into the Future of Communication

June 20, 2024

Autistic individuals can face difficulty navigating social and emotional interactions, leading to exclusion, misunderstandings, and stress.

CREATE faculty member Annuska Zolyomi presented research at CHI 2024 that seeks to tackle these difficulties through a novel approach. Zolyomi, an assistant professor of Computing & Software Systems at UW Bothell, and co-author Jaime Snyder, an Associate Professor at the UW Information School, asked autistic adults to imagine futuristic technology that could translate emotions just as spoken languages are translated.

Headshot of Annuska Zolyomi, a white woman with long brown hair smiling warmly.

The result was a speculative prototype for an emotion translator chat application that would use a library of personalized images that portray emotions and a real-time emotion translator during conversations.

Illustration from Zolyomi's research showing emojis on a personalized emotion grid, as customized by a study participant. Y axis: higher versus lower energy. X axis: negative versus positive.

Read the full paper published in CHI ’24 proceedings with video presentation