(Mirror Daily, United States) – Apple bought a technology to read your emotions, which signals its bigger interest in developing smarter AI’s or, possibly, improving Siri. Artificial intelligence is certainly a field where companies are willing to grow. Apple is among the several who has developed an interest.
On January 7th, the news broke out that the major tech firm purchased a start-up company called Emotient and their technology of analyzing facial expressions. Reportedly, the software has the ability of tracking and reading emotions such as anger, surprise, fear, disgust, contempt, and joy. This will make it a potentially valuable tool in terms of advertising.
There are a few others who have made use of similar pieces of software. It can measure the way a user would respond to ads by simply focusing on their face while watching them. Emotient has been focused on advertising, audience response, and research. It’s an interesting technology that is likely to spread rapidly.
And, it could advance the powers of artificial intelligence, or at least nudge it closer to the way an actual human would interact.
Emotient is a start-up company, created in 2012 by six researchers from the University of California in San Diego. Neither they or Apple made any official comments to confirm the transaction, which implicitly means that the total sum has not yet been disclosed. Apple’s only comment upon the matter was to state that they buy small companies “from time to time”, but they do not discuss their future plans. That means that the purpose behind the purchase will also not be revealed anytime soon.
Apple also bought two other companies in the same field last year, Perceptio and VocalIQ. It seems like a good hint that the firm is moving further into the field of artificial intelligence. Their famed digital personal assistant, Siri, seems to be the most obvious choice. It could be further improved, such as offering the AI an ability to read the user’s emotions or respond more like a human would. Along with enhancements on its robotic voice.
For now though, there has been no official word on what Apple means to do with Emotient’s technology. Since it was usually sold to marketers, advertisers, or other companies, it’s possible that Apple will be steering it in a similar direction. It could be used to scan videos of people watching their ads, and understand how they’re responding.
Apparently, Emotient also removed quite a lot of their information from their website upon being purchased by Apple. However, perhaps the technology might be inserted in future devices, and we will get to know more.
Image source: briansolis.com
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