Apple Buys AI Startup That Reads Emotions in Faces

Young woman making sixteen different facial expressions. High resolution image. All the pictures was taken with a medium format Hasselblad Camera system and developed from Raw.

In December, when WIRED spoke to Andrew Moore, the dean of computer science at Carnegie Mellon, he said that 2016 would be the year that machines learn to grasp human emotions. Now, right on cue, Apple has acquired Emotient, a startup that uses artificial intelligence to analyze your facial expressions and read your emotions.

First reported by The Wall Street Journal, the deal is notable because, well, it’s Apple, the world’s most valuable company and one of the most powerful tech giants. It’s unclear how Apple intends to use the company, but as Moore indicates, the tech built by Emotient is part of much larger trend across the industry. Using what are called deep neural networks—vast networks of hardware and software that approximate the web of neurons in the human brain—companies like Google and Facebook are working on similar face recognition technology and have already rolled it into their online services.

Read article in Wired.