Why did Apple buy a startup whose tech can read emotions via facial recognition?

“Apple Inc. bought the artificial intelligence startup Emotient that specializes in facial recognition technology that interprets people’s emotions as they watch videos and other media,” Adam Satariano and Jack Clark report for Bloomberg.

“Apple confirmed the purchase Thursday without giving terms or describing its plans for the San Diego, California-based company,” Satariano and Clark report. “Emotient has tailored its facial-recognition software to advertising, media testing, audience response and research and other areas, according to its website.”

“The ability to read emotions via a computer opens up a whole swathe of product areas, ranging from applications that change according to the perceived mood of the person to tools for studying how media affect a person’s state of mind,” Satariano and Clark report. “Emotient, founded by six researchers from the University of California at San Diego, had been granted patents covering areas such as the use of AI to read images and decipher whether a person would be attractive to another person. Another patent includes systems for gauging the tone of a conversation and automatically suggesting what can be said to improve the rapport of it.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Sounds like something Eric T. Mole & Co. would absolutely love to bastardize, doesn’t it?

Apple buys Emotient, maker of artificial-intelligence tech that reads emotion by analyzing facial expressions – January 7, 2016

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Arline M.” for the heads up.]


  1. Adding the technology to burgeoning AI, the technology will allow computers to better target us.

    Of course we already know they will have the ability to read lips, knowing what our facial expressions mean might have helped HAL from being shut off.

  2. make that ….computers and/or corporations and/or governments.

    this is all heading in a very, very dangerous direction to our privacy and our freedoms.

    just add this on to google and facebook and other murkily motivated organizations. you know, like samsung and their tv set cameras that can watch you. otherwise known as the ICU2TV.

    start to connecting the dots and get a clue folks. just because something can be done does not mean it should be done.

  3. Here’s where Apple can help the government fight terrorism, if of course they stop hounding it and call of the” financial pressure”…wink wink nudge nudge…

  4. They are saving the world! If Apple owns this technology it won’t get in the wrong hands. That’s why they have that cash mound: world security; they are all about saving the world.

    Now you know.

  5. There would be a thousand problems for AI if AI reads Deaf people.
    If signer is visibly mad, it doesn’t mean s/he is mad. It’s part of conversation that express their thoughts.

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