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Department of Computer Science and Technology

  • Full Professor of Affective Intelligence and Robotics
  • EPSRC Fellow
  • Staff Fellow of Trinity Hall Cambridge


Prof Gunes is an internationally recognized scholar in affective computing and affective robotics. She is a former President of the Association for the Advancement of Affective Computing (AAAC) and was a Faculty Fellow (2019-2021) of the Alan Turing Institute – UK’s national centre for data science and artificial intelligence.

She obtained her PhD in computer science from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) in Australia as an awardee of the Australian Government International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (IPRS) - a prestigious scholarship awarded on the basis of academic merit and research capacity. As a postdoctoral researcher at Imperial College London, she played a crucial role in the EU SEMAINE project, that created the world's first publicly available multimodal, fully autonomous, and real-time human-agent interaction system ( the SAL system). Attentive to user affect and nonverbal expressions, the project developed novel nonverbal audiovisual human behaviour analysis and multimodal agent behaviour synthesis capabilities, and won the Best Demo Award at IEEE ACII’09.

Now directing the Affective Intelligence and Robotics Lab (AFAR Lab) at the University of Cambridge’s Department of Computer Science and Technology, Prof Gunes spearheads research on multimodal, social, and affective intelligence for AI systems, particularly embodied agents & robots, by cross-fertilizing research in the fields of Machine Learning, Affective Computing, Social Signal Processing, and Human Nonverbal Behaviour Understanding.
Honoured with prestigious funding, including a very competitive 5-year EPSRC Fellowship (2019-present) and the EU Horizon 2020 Grant (2019-2022), she has been leading the AFAR team in establishing new collaborations with experienced wellbeing professionals as well as the Department of Psychiatry, which earned them the RSJ/KROS Distinguished Interdisciplinary Research Award Finalist at IEEE RO-MAN’21, and exploring ambitious new horizons that were consistenly recognized with awards and honours. These range from affective intelligence for service robotics which was recognized with the Best Paper Award Finalist at IEEE RO-MAN’20, graph representation learning of multimodal behaviour for automatic depression assessment which was recognized with the Best Student Paper Award Finalist at IEEE FG’24 to using robots for mental wellbeing assessment in children — with over 1,000 global media reports and an interview with The Guardian — and taking the robotic wellbeing coaches from the lab to the workplace, attracting over 700 media coverages. The latter were honoured with the Runner-up for the Collaboration Award at the 2023 University of Cambridge Vice-Chancellor's Awards for Research Impact and Engagement and the Better Future Award at the Department of Computer Science and Technology's Hall of Fame Awards 2023. The AFAR team's ongoing efforts in mitigating bias in affective and wellbeing computing also earned them the Best Paper Award in Responsible Affective Computing at IEEE ACII'23.

Prof Gunes's impact extends beyond academia, contributing to national and international projects with real-world outcomes. Her industry collaboration on the Innovate UK Sensing Feeling project resulted in a commercially available portable sensor with passive, real-time, and in-the-wild deep learning-based affect sensing, leading to a US patent and the establishment of the spin-out company SensingFeeling.

She is regularly invited to give talks at top-tier venues, addressing both scientific and broader audiences. Notable engagements include keynote talks at IEEE FG’19 and ICPR’22, as well as appearances at the Hay Festivalthe Royal Institution, the Cambridge Science Festival, and the Festival of Ideas.

You can visit her home page for further details.

Contact Details

Office phone: 
(01223) 7-63684

hatice dot gunes at cl dot cam dot ac dot uk