Researchers in six of Europe’s top academic establishments have recently started work on a multimillion Euro project designed to help computers understand our emotions. Called The Semaine Project, the work has already produced some results – for instance in the area of non verbal communication.

The studies are not as science fiction as they might seem. At the moment, computers and web sites respond to us in a standard fashion, regardless of our own emotions. This is incredibly frustrating to us and could partly explain why so many people have poor technical skills; they simply don’t “get on” with computers as they don’t respond appropriately. The new research should enable computers to respond to our moods.

It will be a couple of years before the Semaine Project provides us with real working emotional computers, but the work looks promising. Furthermore, once the emotional side of a computer is established, it’s but a short step to making the web emotional.

Having emotion built in to your web site would be a significant step forward as it would allow you to connect even more deeply with customers and potential customers. It has long been known that selling is easier when an emotional connection is established between buyer and seller. Adding emotions to your web site will doubtless help the situation.

In the meantime, since your web site cannot respond emotionally, fill it with as much emotion as you can, using the right language and choosing the right pictures. Get rid of all that boring business speak on your web site and fill it instead with emotive words and phrases – you’ll get a much easier connection with your readers.

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