Researchers Have Created an AI That Could Read and React to Emotions

Reading Sheep

One of today’s more popular artificially intelligent (AI) androids comes from the TV series “MARVEL’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” Those of you who followed the latest season’s story — no spoilers here! — probably love or hate ADA by now. One of the most interesting things about this fictional AI character is that it can read people’s emotions. Thanks to researchers from the University of Cambridge, this AI ability might soon make the jump from sci-fi to reality.

The first step in creating such a system is training an algorithm on simpler facial expressions and just one specific emotion or feeling. To that end, the Cambridge team focused on using a machine learning algorithm to figure out if a sheep is in pain, and this week, they presented their research at the IEEE International Conference on Automatic Face and Gesture Recognition in Washington, D.C.

Image credit: University of Cambridge
Image credit: Robinson, et al./University of Cambridge

The system they developed, the Sheep Pain Facial Expression Scale (SPFES), was trained using a dataset of 500 sheep photographs to learn how to identify five distinct features of a sheep’s face when the animal is in pain. The algorithm then ranks the features on a scale of 1 to 10 to determine the severity of the pain. Early tests showed that the SPFES could estimate pain levels with an 80 percent accuracy.

Humane and Human

SPFES was a departure for Peter Robinson, the Cambridge professor leading the research, as he typically focuses on systems designed to read human facial expressions. “There’s been much more study over the years with people,” Robinson explained in a press release.“But a lot of the earlier work on the faces of animals was actually done by Darwin, who argued that all humans and many animals show emotion through remarkably similar behaviors, so we thought there would likely be crossover between animals and our work in human faces.”

Types of AI: From Reactive to Self-Aware [INFOGRAPHIC]
Click to View Full Infographic

As co-author Marwa Mahmoud explained, “The interesting part is that you can see a clear analogy between these actions in the sheep’s faces and similar facial actions in humans when they are in pain – there is a similarity in terms of the muscles in their faces and in our faces.”

Next, the team hopes to teach SPFES how to read sheep facial expressions from moving images, as well as train the system to work when a sheep isn’t looking directly at a camera. Even as is, though, the algorithm could improve the quality of life of livestock like sheep by facilitating the early detection of painful conditions that require quick treatment, adding it to the growing list of practical and humane applications for AI.

Additional developments could lead to systems that are able to accurately recognize and react to human emotions, further blurring the line between natural and artificial intelligences.

The post Researchers Have Created an AI That Could Read and React to Emotions appeared first on Futurism.


HBO may push Game of Thrones’ final season to 2019, and that wouldn’t be a bad thing

The seventh season of Game of Thrones (coming July 16th) was pushed back several months due to a production schedule that needed to revolve around winter, but the eighth season may be pushed back even further, for vaguer reasons.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, HBO programming chief Casey Bloys hinted that the eighth season (only six episodes long) might not air until 2019. Discussing why showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss aren’t going to be involved in any spinoff series in a major way, Bloys said, “By the time the final season airs, Dan and David will have been at this for 12 years.” Though Weiss and Benioff first met Martin in 2006, HBO didn’t order the pilot of Game of Thrones until November 2008, and production…

Continue reading…

The Verge – All Posts

Sony Xperia Home beta is finally available through the Play Store

As early as October 2014, Sony began beta testing the Xperia Home app, a special launcher exclusive to the company’s high-end smartphone devices. In what must be one of the longest beta tests in history, the app still hasn’t seen a final version. Until now, it was only possible to get the app from Sony in the Google+ community or sideload it from somewhere like APKMirror. It’s still in beta, but Sony is finally making it available to download through the Play Store.

Read More

Sony Xperia Home beta is finally available through the Play Store was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Android Police – Android News, Apps, Games, Phones, Tablets

Study suggests Airbnb hosts are unfair to people with disabilities

A recent study conducted by researchers at Rutgers University found evidence that Airbnb hosts might be less likely to rent to people with disabilities. But there are some important limitations to consider in regards to the findings. The researchers…
Engadget RSS Feed

Patent troll Uniloc adds two more lawsuits to growing list of complaints against Apple

Article Image

Notorious "patent troll" Uniloc on Friday expanded its legal barrage against Apple with the addition of two lawsuits lodged in Texas, one relating to automatic device wake-up features and another targeting pedometer technology.
AppleInsider – Frontpage News