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The facial expression is the key to understand human emotions. And playing with human emotion is the key for selling products. That’s why so many of the big companies in the world like Apple and Microsoft focus on consumer satisfaction. Its why companies like Google and Facebook are investing in facial recognition software. Knowing how people react to something is key of knowing what they want. There are tons of facial recognition software out there and they are being integrated into tablets, smart phones, smart cars and obviously; cameras. The difference today is that focusing on the personal identity along with their emotion has become important.
A research team from the Ohio State University have created a complex algorithm that is capable of recognizing 21 human emotions by facial recognition. Like any study that includes pattern recognition, they first established a benchmark or a pattern that helped them link an emotion to a facial expression. They chose 200 volunteers and mapped their faces after putting a thought in to their heads to convey an emotion.
The complexity of human emotion is that a thousand different expressions can mean the same thing and the same expression can convey a thousand meanings. And we rarely experience purely one emotion; our lives are dominated by a mix of colors, a cocktail of flavors. We are rarely happy or sad, we are more often melancholic or exuberant. This is why the team at Ohio State also told their volunteers to express “sad anger” or “happy disgust” or “fearful surprise”.
This entire endeavor finally helped the University to construct an algorithm to identify a fraction of this endless spectrum of emotion. This software could be used to improve customer satisfaction or recognize the expression of someone about to commit a crime or hatching a scheme or nursing anger in their heart. Although this may take a lot more research and time.