San Diego – Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) has decided to venture with artificial-intelligence technology purchasing Emotient Inc., a startup that uses the technology to read people’s emotions by analyzing facial expressions.
Emotient’s emotion-recognition technology derives from the Machine Perception Lab at the University of California at San Diego. It was founded in 2012 and has raised $8M from investors like Intel Capital and Seth Neiman. It had also been tinkering around with products like Google Glass and other wearables.
It is not clear yet what apple wishes to do with its new acquisition. A spokeswoman for the company said that Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and that generally they do not discuss their purpose or plans. So, it is clear that the company is not planning to share their intentions yet.
Emotient Inc. has recently been working with advertisers helping them understand the viewers reactions to different ads. Perhaps, this technology could be used for iOS and OS X Photos app, basically by allowing better categorization of photos by mood or even better photo selection.
Tuong Huy Nguyen, a principal research analyst with Gartner, pointed out another possible use Apple could give to the face analysis. If the next iPhone could recognize frustration in users’ expressions as they navigate a particular sequence of steps, the aggregated data could give Apple early insight into the need for design changes.
Among the many things Emotient AI technology can do is reading images to analyze if a person would be attractive to another person. There is a system that can evaluate the tone of a conversation and automatically suggest what can be said to improve the relationship of it. Apple could take advantage of all these benefits.
Just a few months ago, Apple acquired another AI startup, called VocalIQ, whose speech-recognition technology is widely expected to improve interactions with Apple’s virtual assistant, Siri.
Source: Wall Street Journal