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EMTECH: "Emotional Machines: The Technological Transformation of Intimacy in Japan"


Freie Universität Berlin
Department of History and Cultural Studies
Institute of Japanese Studies

Principal Investigator:

(Principal Investigator of EMTECH)

Research Team:

Dr. Giard, Agnès  (Postdoctoral Researcher)

Dr. Shirai, Hiromi (白井 宏美)  (Associate Researcher)

Frommann, Berthold  (Researcher)

Hänsel, Gabriele  (Project Finances)

Kimura, Aki (木村 安紀)  (Student Assistant)

Heinemann, Judith  (Intern)


This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 714666).

Aug 01, 2017 — Jul 31, 2022
Contact Person:
Prof. Dr. Giannoulis, Elena
EU and ERC funding

EU and ERC funding

EMTECH is an international and interdisciplinary research project that examines the relationship between aesthetic works on human-machine interaction in Japan and advances in artificial emotional intelligence. Through the analysis of new storytelling techniques, virtual spaces, and ethnographic observations of human-robot interaction in homes and public spaces, EMTECH’s purpose is to collect qualitative data on our expanding capacities to relate emotionally to and using technology. The project's ultimate aim is to find out how humans create affective bonds to (emotionally-intelligent) machines and what implications this has on social issues in the private and public spheres in everyday life in Japan.

EMTECH is a five-year scientific project funded by the European Research Council and hosted by Freie Universität Berlin. For further information, please contact the project's principal investigator, Prof. Dr. Elena Giannoulis.


  • EMTECH, affect, affects, emotions, ERC, robot, robotics, affective sciences, HRI