Unmasking That Poker Face!

New technology reads the true emotions behind facial expressions

New technology is always interesting, especially when it claims to challenge conventional behaviour or knowledge, and an American company has developed new software that it claims can read human emotions through facial expression analysis.
Launched by US firm ooVoo at a Barcelona mobile expo this week, the camera and computer based technology has been initially developed in partnership with Affectiva, a company specialising in perceptual computing and emotional analytics, using research work from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The product has been introduced primarily with job interviews front of mind, although there are possibilities in politics, police work and… gambling!
The Telegraph newspaper claims that following trials earlier this year political pollsters are planning to use the technology in the US presidential elections in 2016 to obtain more accurate data from focus groups and individuals in interviews.
In developing the technology, researchers fed a computer huge amounts of pictures showing human expressions – collected as part of a project on autism – to 'teach' it how to read emotions, according to company spokesman Christopher Williams.
Other uses could include using the app in the retail business to gauge customer response to a particular product or display.
Possible obstacles to the wider use of the technology include privacy concerns, but a company executive at ooVoo parent Myrian Capital says the technology would be simply another source of data, and that concerns are usually assuaged through either regulation or familiarity.

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