NewScientist - May 28, 2012, by Lisa Grossman
Systems that can identify emotions in images of faces might soon collate millions of peoples' reactions to events and could even replace opinion polls
IF THE computers we stare at all day could read our faces, they would probably know us better than anyone.
That vision may not be so far off. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Lab are developing software that can read the feelings behind facial expressions. In some cases, the computers outperform people. The software could lead to empathetic devices and is being used to evaluate and develop better adverts.
But the commercial uses are just "the low-hanging fruit", says Rana el Kaliouby, a member of the Media Lab's Affective Computing group. The software is getting so good and so easy to use that it could collate millions of peoples' reactions to an event as they sit watching it at home, potentially replacing opinion polls, influencing elections and perhaps fuelling revolutions
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