Meet Emoti-OS the 'emotive' chatbot

Emoti-OS was developed out of DATA Play 6. Angus Reith talks about how the project came about, how it’s being used and how they hope to use it in the future.

Emoti-OS is an ‘emotive’ chatbot. It uses conversations with its users to understand the collective mood of pupils at Plymouth School of Creative Arts (UK). It’s created for and with these pupils to give students a voice and a way to express how they collectively feel about important matters at the school.

The project is a collaboration with the i-DAT Collective, pupils and staff at Plymouth School of Creative Arts, Intercity and Controlled Frenzy.

Emoti-OS speculates whether a chatbot (a computer program that mimics conversation with people using artificial intelligence), with a visual and emotionally driven character, could engage and reflect the collective mood of a school in real time. Whilst doing so, can it also act as a channel for pupils and staff to express how they feel and see how others feel, in real-time, about their learning environment?

A user can interact with Emoti-OS through two interfaces. The first is a physical installation in the school atrium where pupils can select an emoji button which represents one of the seven system emojis (joy, sadness, excitement, fear, confusion, anger and disgust) to which they most relate. Secondly, users can chat with the online chatbot at Emoti-OS.me, where once they have selected a representative emoji of how they feel, they can engage Emoti-OS in a deeper conversation about why they feel this way and other aspects of school life. Pupils in the school can also pose questions to their peers through Emoti-OS.

With over 10,000 emotive emojis selected since the project launched four days ago and over 500 conversations between pupils and Emoti-OS chatbot, it’s evident that this prototype is having an impact. To what level the project can generate increased levels of awareness and empathy through playful, responsive and emotive conversations, is in the future (data). In that near future, the team behind Emoti-OS will explore this question and the potential of the system in other contexts; could it work for galleries, museums, other buildings or even a whole city? The next install of Emoti-OS will take place at Tate Exchange (Tate Modern Switch House) in London at the end of January 2018 as part of Plymouth College of Art and Plymouth School of Creative Arts’ exhibit on production.

Emoti-OS is a collaborative project realised by:

The project is funded through Plymouth City Council’s DATA Play initiative and i-DAT Collective with Plymouth University.

About the author: Angus Reith is a Computing Teacher at Plymouth School of Creative Arts. With 15 years’ teaching experience both in the UK and abroad, his role covers the delivery of project-based cross phase computing, e-safety and developing the school’s digital strategy.