For all their brilliance, our phones still have as much emotional intelligence as glue.

Yet, as electronics become ever more important in our lives, it may make sense to start teaching them to be more aware of our feelings. Early glimpses of such efforts were afoot at a gathering of over 700 artificial-intelligence software developers, academics and researchers this week in Manhattan, where several talks focused on finding ways to add emotion into our robots, voice assistants and chatbots.

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