Alonso Martinez

Technical Director
Pixar Animation Studios

The building blocks of creating empathy in digital characters

In this talk we will look at empathy and steps towards creating it in digital characters. We will go over existing psychological models of emotion and postulate a new model based on optimization of reward. We will also talk about what film can teach us about creating believable and lovable digital characters. Including how design can be useful for setting our expectations about the level of emotional intelligence of a character. By working within the current technological constraints one can allowing the user to project their hopes and desires unto the digital character and create authenticity and the "Illusion of Life".

Alonso Martinez works at Pixar Animation Studios and has created digital characters for academy award winning movies such as "Up" and "Inside Out". He has also worked on movies like "Cars2", "The Good Dinosaur", and is working on the upcoming movie titled "Coco". Outside of Pixar, Alonso continues his passion for creating lovable characters through robotics, and is working on developing the building blocks by which robots could feel emotions and empathy. As a robot's understanding of the world and people's emotions get richer, so will their ability to interact with people in a more meaningful way.

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