Global News: Zenbo, a robot learning empathy from a team including Mitacs Globalink intern


An artificial intelligence project aims to train companionship robots to feel empathy for humans.

The project involves students at Ontario Tech University, who are trying to program Zenbo, a robot produced by Asus, to be able to read human emotions.

“This development of empathy is going to enable the robot to respond to a particular situation,” explained Miguel Vargas Martin, a computer sciences professor at the university.

“It learns your state of mind and all the situations you could be in.”

A number of students have been working on the project, including international student Eduardo Valle of Mexico. Valle is one of 1,200 students studying in Canada on a three-month internship through the international internship program Mitacs Globalink. He says the students’ hope is to train Zenbo to recognize facial expressions.

“We hope to have Zenbo recognize your mood,” the 22-year-old said. “He can reply to you and make you feel better if you are having a bad moment.”

Read more…