In a lot of ways, our iPhones are already our best friend. They’re there for us at the bar when our real life friends haven’t shown up yet. They remind us to call our mom. They help us stay fit thanks to the new health app. One area in which they lack though (besides you know, not being human), is being able to read and feed off our emotions. However, it seems as though that might not be the case for long.
According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, Apple recently purchased Emotient Inc., a startup that uses artificial-intelligence technology to read people’s emotions by analyzing facial expressions. Currently the technology is primarily used to analyse how people respond to advertisements. It has also been used by doctors to help interpret signs of pain among patients unable to express themselves.
The notoriously tight-lipped company has not yet explained what exactly they plan to do with the new technology. An Apple spokeswoman has confirmed they bought the company but will only comment explaining, Apple “buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”
So how could facial recognition actually be used on your iPhone? Let’s brainstorm. If you’re all smiles while reading an article about a baby animal in Apple News, maybe your feed would understand the pure bliss you feel when you see a puppy and begin to customize your feed to show you more content similar to that. Or maybe you wouldn’t even need to hold you thumb down to unlock your phone anymore. Just hold it up to your face and voila.
Tell us how you would like to use facial recognition on your phone? Share with us on Twitter @britandco.