Celso M. de Melo

Computer Scientist
Associate Editor, IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing
Contact: celso.miguel.de.melo@gmail.com
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Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences U.S.A.
1. Human cooperation when acting through autonomous machines
Autonomous machines that act on our behalf are bound to face situations where individual interest conflicts with collective interest, and we must understand if people will cooperate when acting through them. We show, in the increasingly popular domain of autonomous vehicles, that people program machines to cooperate more than they would when acting directly with others. Read the paper.
Journal of Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems
2. People Are Fairer When Acting Via Agents
Increasingly autonomous agents act on our behalf in health, finance, driving, defense, etc. This research suggests people tend to adopt a broader, higher-level perspective when programming these agents and, thus, act more fairly when compared to direct interaction. Read the paper.
ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction
3. People Do Not Feel Guilty About Exploiting Machines
This research shows that we experience emotions differently with machines, when compared to humans. Specifically, people feel less guilt when exploiting machines, but just as much envy when being exploited. This helps explain why people decide differently with machines. Read the paper.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
4. Reading People's Minds From Emotion Expressions
Emotion expressions can be windows into other people's minds. This research shows that people make inferences about how others are appraising the ongoing interaction from emotion expressions and, from this information, about others' beliefs, desires, and intentions. Read the paper.
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I am interested in creating machines that show the kind of intelligence we see in humans. For over 15 years, I have studied (a) human behavior with autonomous machines (e.g., human-machine cooperation), (b) AI models for complex human behavior (e.g., emotion), (c) multimodal expression in machines through face, voice, and body; and, (d) new media that push the boundaries for human-machine interaction (e.g., augmented/virtual reality). This work has implications in commercial, industrial, medical, military, and entertainment domains.

I am a computer scientist and my research focuses on human-machine interaction, artificial intelligence, and virtual/augmented reality.

Previously, I finished a postdoc at the USC Marshall School of Business with Peter Carnevale. This research was funded by an NSF Grant and focused on:

  • The interpersonal effects of emotion expression on people's decision making and corresponding implications for the design of intelligent human-computer interaction systems;
  • Virtual humans, or three-dimensional characters that look and act like humans, as a computational interface for the future and a basic research tool for the behavioral sciences;
  • How perceptions of cognitive and affective ability in others influences decision making and its consequences for human-computer and computer-mediated decision making.

I earned my Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University of Southern California. This work consisted of creating cognitive computational models of emotion and decision making using various artificial intelligence techniques (e.g., machine learning). This work was done at the Institute for Creative Technologies with Jonathan Gratch.

Previously, I received a M.Sc. in Computer Science at the Technical University of Lisbon (IST) with Ana Paiva at the Synthetic Characters and Intelligent Agents Group (GAIPS). There, I began developing my virtual humans framework that supports multimodal expression through face, gesture, and voice.

I was born in beautiful Mozambique and also am proud to be Portuguese.


Last updated: September 26th, 2019