Science fiction is constantly warning us that inhuman machines are about to take over the world. However, a new wave of electronic devices hitting the market show that the near future really belongs to machines that deliver a human touch by using emotion-detection technology.
These machines, which include a mood-sensing music system and a merrymaking robot, employ a technology called affective computing, according to a BBC News article.
One example of affective computing is Softbank’s emotion engine, which is employed by Honda in its NeuV concept car. The emotion engine combines biometric sensors and cameras to monitor drivers’ feelings. It then uses this emotional information to recommend music or to provide input on driving habits.
Honda said the emotion engine will allow vehicles like the NeuV to “grow up” while sharing various experiences with their drivers. This fosters an emotional connection between the car and the driver, according to the company.
Another application of affective computing is Affectiva’s emotion-recognition software, dubbed Affdex. Affdex can detect tiny changes in people’s facial expressions while they view video content. This information is employed by companies to measure how audiences respond to content such as film trailers and television commercials.
A company with similar technology, Emotient, was purchased by Apple last year. Emotient’s emotion-detection system can detect moods by examining individuals’ faces.
With emotion-detection and sentiment analysis APIs available from various sources, affective computing is likely to be employed in a rising number of products and services in the coming years. Because of this, future machines may resemble Wall-E much more than the Terminator.
Pratik Dhebri is senior director of product management at Veritone. He works with AI developers and cognitive engine providers to architect and monetize algorithms and applications. Learn more about our platform and join the Veritone developer ecosystem today.