Program detects emotions in facial expressions

August 22, 2001 | Source: KurzweilAI

A computer program that detects emotions in facial expressions has been developed by University of California, San Diego (UCSD) researchers under CIA funding.The program is based on a coding system that breaks down facial expressions into 46 individual motions, or action units.

With this software and a video camera mounted on your monitor, project manager Terrence Sejnowski, UCSD professor of biology, thinks your computer might someday read you as well as your best friend does.

In a project at UCSD, the researchers are integrating their system into the popular robotic dog AIBO, developed by Sony Corp., with the goal of training the robo-pet to recognize individual people and respond to their emotions.

The new methods are also proving useful in analyzing brain images obtained through functional magnetic resonance imaging.

“The face expresses what’s going on in the brain, but it’s only a pale reflection,” Sejnowski says. “Now we have the capability, with brain imaging, to actually look inside and see what’s going on in the person’s mind while they’re experiencing an emotion and making the facial expression.”

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