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December 03, 2020 Thursday 11:57:12 AM IST

New partnership to create apps to learn social and emotional intelligence

Education Information

NTU Singapore teams up with Association for Persons with Special Needs and YOOZOO Games to create apps that aid in learning social and emotional intelligence. Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore), global video game developer YOOZOO Games and Singapore's Association for Persons with Special Needs (APSN) have jointly developed three mobile applications to help persons with special needs learn about social and emotional intelligence.

Following a nine-week pilot led by NTU Singapore involving 140 special needs students from APSN, the mobile apps were developed further in collaboration with YOOZOO Games. Professor Ong Yew Soon, Director of Data Science & Artificial Intelligence Research Centre (DSAIR) at NTU Singapore, who led the project, said that the team's main goal was to use artificial intelligence (AI) for societal good.

Developed for mobile phones and tablet on both Android and iOS, the three applications are:

    A child-friendly quiz app that rewards users for making facial expressions that match the emojis displayed on screen. It lets users learn different expressions and recognise emotions in a fun and casual way.

    Happy Bird

A fresh take on the all-time classic Flappy Bird, Happy Bird Lost Journeys is about an astro-bird who got a little lost in many different worlds. Avoid obstacles as you fly an astro-bird with your smile.


The app allows users to create their own butterflies that come to life when they smile. This interactive app allows children to express and understand their emotions better through different visual effects.

Each of the apps developed on the made-in-NTU IntelliK AI Emotion Sensing Platform, can detect facial expressions using the mobile device's front-facing camera and then match them to the emotions they portray.

IntelliK is a creation tool which enables users to make AI powered digital apps and 'gamified' learning or training content without requiring any coding skills. It was created and developed by DSAIR and undergraduates from NTU's School of Computer Science and Engineering.

Thumbs up from APSN students for fun learning from home during COVID-19

Following the pilot, the apps have been released for use by students in APSN, who have given positive feedback on their enjoyment and educational factor.

Custom-made experiences for different purposes and users

The IntelliK apps developed for special needs persons at APSN allow their teachers to personalise and customise them for contextual and progressive learning.

Educators can also adjust the apps' difficulty level, choose from several social scenarios, and customise the types of images used in the activities. For example, EmojiCapcha's Familiar Faces function allows for the emojis to be replaced with photos of family and friends.

Educators can also collect data such as scores and response time for users to display emotions, as measures of personal improvement.

Prof Ong said that although the apps are currently available to students at APSN, there are plans to work with other organisations to release them to a larger audience, including adults and the elderly.

Continuing with the theme of collaboration, NTU and YOOZOO are also announcing the new Data Science and AI (DSAI) Gold Medal, which is sponsored by YOOZOO to recognize the academic excellence of the top student from Bachelor of Science in DSAI. The award will be effective from 2021.

(Content Courtesy: