Klára Petrovicka joined OFAI in September 2022 to complete an internship as part of her MEi:CogSci studies at the University of Vienna. Under the supervision of Mag. Dr. Brigitte Krenn, the goal of the internship was to analyse machine learning approaches on processing text-based empathic utterances. In particular, they worked on reproducing EmoBERT model results; the code is publicly available. EmoBERT is a emotion-based variant of the BERT transformer model, which was able to learn emotion representations, and which was also fine-tuned to classify empathetic intents such as consoling and sympathising. After the initial analysis of EmoBERT's performance, including the replication of the published results, the model was then applied to another dataset and an error analysis was performed.
While the internship has now come to an end, the cooperation between Klara and OFAI to continue work on empathetic processing models continues.