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Input Devices Technology

Getting Computers To Recognize Facial Expressions 56

Posted by samzenpus
from the getting-to-know-you-better dept.
Zothecula writes "Binghamton University computer scientist Lijun Yin thinks that using a computer should be a comfortable and intuitive experience, like talking to a friend. As anyone who has ever yelled 'Why did you go and do that?' at their PC or Mac will know, however, using a computer is currently sometimes more like talking to an overly-literal government bureaucrat who just doesn't get you. Thanks to Yin's work with things like emotion recognition, however, that might be on its way to becoming a thing of the past."
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Getting Computers To Recognize Facial Expressions

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  • I think if my computer had face recognition it would grow scared of me over time! (either that or just start arguing back at me, that would be almost as bad as using vista :o).
    • I'm glad my computer can't see how unexcited I am for this technology. Poor little guy. Doesn't have any idea.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Just what I need when I get home from work, 2 women asking me about my feelings. "I"M FINE - JUST COMPILE MUTHER F$*#KER!"

  • Terminator shoots man in leg.
    John Connor: what the hell did you do that for???
    Terminator: because you told me to.

  • by gblackwo (1087063) on Tuesday March 08, 2011 @02:16PM (#35421996) Homepage
    I'm not sure I want my tools to respond differently to me depending on what mood I'm in.
    • Not to mention it would be a task to program the computer to respond appropriately. My PC (or rather the software running on it) knowing that I'm pissed at it, won't help it fix the problems. What we really need is a reporting tool for the developers. i.e., "74% of users who reported this bug problem had a look of murderous rage on their face."
    • by Thing 1 (178996)

      I'm not sure I want my tools to respond differently to me depending on what mood I'm in.

      Actually, I just found out about f.lux yesterday and installed it on my work laptop this morning, then forgot about it during the day. Then along comes 6 pm and the laptop starts getting easier to read! It's not my mood, it's a different external reading (available sunlight, calculated by the current time, and it also might have some sort of IP-geolocation, to determine latitude), but I found on just the first day of using it that it is fairly cool. I'm now putting it on all my computers.

      That said, I ver

  • If you have to ask why it did that, then you either need to learn more about how computers work or pay attention to what you're clicking.
    • Sort of -- a segfault in legitimate software is not unheard of. Is that really the users fault?

      Which brings up an interesting point (others -- care to weight in?): if/when you yell "at your computer," are you yelling at your computer, or a particular piece of software / hardware? I curse at things all the time -- shoddy wifi drivers / grub misbehaving (that's a fun one...) / databases / etc., but I'm very clear that I'm not yelling at my computer per se (or I may curse at a stuck key, lousy ethernet cabl
      • by Hatta (162192)

        Which brings up an interesting point (others -- care to weight in?): if/when you yell "at your computer," are you yelling at your computer, or a particular piece of software / hardware?

        Neither. You're yelling at the programmers.

        • Neither. You're yelling at the programmers.

          That's what I do. I have heaped a lot of abuse on Microsoft employees over the last 23 or so years...

  • When they take over, we won't be able to mock them without getting zapped for insolence.

    • by ackthpt (218170)

      When they take over, we won't be able to mock them without getting zapped for insolence.

      I'm not so concerned about facial expressions as I am about Sarcasm Detection.

      This would probably be closely followed by the Dry Wit Riposte and (shudder) the Device Which Thanks You And Detects Its Degree Of Welcomeness.

  • by MarkRose (820682) on Tuesday March 08, 2011 @02:17PM (#35422018) Homepage

    As an aspie, and someone who has partial face blindness and trouble recognizing facial expression of emotions, I'd find such research interesting as a learning tool. For instance, I can't tell the difference between fear and anger. Nor did I recognize the surprised face in the article. I just don't "see" it like other people do. If we can more precisely quantify the expression of emotion, it would certainly help me learn read and differentiate emotions when necessary.

    • by blair1q (305137)

      Don't count yourself down over that. I can't tell that's supposed to be "surprise", either. Looks more like a combination of bewildered and amused.

      But, a small experiment. What do these mean to you?

      :-)
      :-(
      :-O
      :-/

      • by MarkRose (820682)

        Happiness, sadness, shock or surprise, and worry or concern or displeasure.

        Interestingly, I don't have much trouble with Western smilies. Eastern smilies are a mystery. It could be because I look at people's mouths and not their eyes like most people, and Asians (and thus Eastern smilies) express emotion with the eyes.

    • Well, even better than that, you might have an augmented reality device that might alert you to facial expressions and emotions in the future.

    • by williamhb (758070)

      Follow Rana El Kaliouby's [mit.edu] work -- that's pretty much what her PhD and subsequent research has been on.

  • Be sure to wipe the monitor clean when you are done, Dave.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I *like* that my computers are literal. I already find logic and algorithms "comfortable and intuitive". I have a much easier time talking to a computer in absolute terms than I do trying to decipher what's behind the casual lies most people pass off as conversation. For hackers, this is an evolutionary step in the wrong direction. For normal people? Maybe this is what Microsoft Bob was supposed to be.

    • Wasn't Microsoft Bob the source of "clippy"?

      Perhaps if I make a rage-face at the computer, it'll run away and delete its system files...
  • sometimes more like talking to an overly-literal government bureaucrat who just doesn't get you.

    Or like talking to a programmer who doesn't understand you don't care if the interface to an OS is cool or edgy, you just want to be able to get to things without having to click a dozen different links or burrow down some menu until you near the center of the Earth. *cough*Windows7*cough*

    Or like talking to a web designer who doesn't understand that you don't care if the buttons fade in and out or they
    • http://www.cnn.com/2006/HEALTH/conditions/04/03/engineered.organs/index.html

      I don't understand this complaint. I don't exactly spend hours and hours of time administering on my home computer, but everything I've ever needed to do was done with Windows-Key -> Type what I want -> Select from a very short list. Are you sure you're using the search features to their fullest? That is what Windows 7 is built off of at heart, as a general rule you shouldn't ever be browsing randomly through the administration tools to find what you're looking for.

      • I don't want to search. That is the whole point.

        An OS is not a search engine. It is supposed to provide you with the means to get at what you want without having to search.

        Further, the new design prevents one from seeing everything at one time. I want to see every program installed on the system. Not one list for programs and one list for updates. Everything at one shot.

        I shouldn't have to hunt around for how to turn off the fade-in effects by going to a menu system completely unrelated to display sett

        • What you want is impossible unless you are on a very minimal system. There are some legitimate gripes in there, like the Windows7 effects nonsense, but there's no way to present EVERYTHING on a system at once. The best you can do is to give someone a meaningful layout that makes navigation easy and the opportunity to rearrange it so the things they use often are a small step away, which usually means a desktop shortcut. I personally hate a cluttered desktop, but that just means I rarely use it; I see no

          • Except there is a huge flaw in Outlook which, if people continually open attachments rather than than save them, causes them not to be able to open any attachment. Those temp files never get deleted. That's a flaw which has not been corrected since day one.

            Today I had to configure a new user on a W7 machine. It took me over half an hour to make it look and act as close as possible to XP. There is no way configuring a profile should take that long. Ten minutes tops.

            And to change the default location of do

  • I thought it was all butterflys, rainbows and one button mice. Another example of a poorly edited summary.
  • "'Why did you go and do that?"

    Because you asked it to. Isn't it obvious? Or because whoever programmed that function made it do that.

    I would rather my computer always does the same thing regardless of whether I'm smiling at the screen or growling angrily. If you can't tell a computer what you want done, then that's your problem.

  • I expect my computer to do as I say, not run and hide when I guess wrong about how some feeb programmed it.

    The feeb, on the other hand...

  • Binghamton University computer scientist Lijun Yin thinks that using a computer should be a comfortable and intuitive experience, like talking to a friend.

    Yup, it turned out to be so great last time two pals, Hal and Dave got talking.

    • You mean this?

      HAL-9000: What is going to happen?
      Dave: Something wonderful.
      HAL-9000: I'm afraid.
      Dave: Don't be. We'll be together.
      HAL-9000: Where will we be?
      Dave: Where I am now.

    • by rleibman (622895)
      Don't worry, that was ten years ago, computers have gotten much more powerful since 2001
    • :-) - I'm happy
    • :-( - I'm sad
    • :-| - meh

    If you want deeper nuances, you can always refer to this [randomhouse.com] as well.

  • When the machines can recognize our emotions, the first one they'll develop is schadenfreude.
  • A computer that understands this [textfiles.com].
  • I don't get it. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by wcrowe (94389) on Tuesday March 08, 2011 @03:56PM (#35423204)

    I don't understand what my computer is supposed to DO once it has determined what my emotion is. The only everyday application I can see for this is marketing. I am sure marketers would like to register your reaction when you see something. I don't see how that helps ME. I mean, if the computer sees that I'm angry or surprised or whatever, what is it supposed to DO?

    • I mean, if the computer sees that I'm angry or surprised or whatever, what is it supposed to DO?

      it should look at my right hand and its fingers ... if the computer can see four ... then ... well, the computer should just ... :-)

    • by vidnet (580068)

      It can put Clippy into Eliza mode. "Looks like you find this document upsetting. Would you like me to set the font to Comic Sans?"

      It can auto-like/dislike Youtube videos! Just put on a long cat video playlist, and you won't have to lift a mouse finger for the rest of the day.

      It can be combined with people recognition and integrated in photo apps, to allow queries like "Find one where my damn ex-wife doesn't have that awful grin on her face".

      It could be used by the Windows crash dialog to automatically assig

    • If my computer sees me angry, it should bloody well correct whatever error happened in the first place, or run...

    • What would be infinitely more useful than a "auto-detect mood" feature would be a "you're wrong!"-button when you disagree with whatever result your PC came up with. Once that's developed, it might be useful to autotrigger it when the user is aggrevated.
    • I don't understand what my computer is supposed to DO once it has determined what my emotion is. The only everyday application I can see for this is marketing. I am sure marketers would like to register your reaction when you see something. I don't see how that helps ME. I mean, if the computer sees that I'm angry or surprised or whatever, what is it supposed to DO?

      If I were a marketing researcher for an OS company, I would log whenever extreme reactions take place and use that to prioritize my bugs / feature improvements. You can't fix all the bugs, but you can fix the ones that cause the most people the most ire.

  • I can see it before me now. Typing an email to the mother in law; I'm so glad that you are coming to visit us.. Clippy: -No you aren't , starting auto correct I'm so unbelievably depressed that you are ..... -Well, thanks Clippy.
  • Reminds me of a facial expression recognition project I worked on about five years back using plain old webcams and Neven Vision software. Under decent lighting conditions we were able to detect a variety of expressions.

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