Most cell phones are pretty good at auto-correcting the errant spelling and punctuation that can ensue when you’re typing while furious, or sad, or gleeful. But what if the messages you’re sending could also convey those emotions embedded in your words? RIM filed a patent for just such a messaging system, which can determine the emotional context of a text in a way that goes beyond the little :-) we all know.
You may not notice it — at least not as much as you notice when you smile sarcastically — but you smile when you’re frustrated. It’s more like a surprised grimace than a happy grin, but the difference is subtle. So subtle that humans can hardly detect it, actually — but a computer can. New research with smile-detection could help people interpret others’ expressions, including people with autism, according to scientists at MIT.
One of the more bizarre and sad television-news gawkeries in recent memory has centered on the uncontrollable tics of a group of high school girls in upstate New York. The afflicted patients have been shown flailing on the "Today Show," Erin Brockovich got involved, and the community has been up in arms. In next week's New York Times Magazine, journalist Susan Dominus offers a reasoned and sympathetic explanation of the psychology behind the girls' behavior, the mass hysteria that ensued, and the power of group behavior.
The great MIT Mood Meter claims to know all your hopes, dreams and fears. Well, perhaps not. But it can count the number of smiles in a given area, giving some kind of indicator of mood expression.
The Mood Meter came about when a team of researchers at the place from whence all awesome things come, MIT's Media Lab, hooked up a camera and screen (or projector) to some nifty facial recognition algorithms that can spot faces and smiles in real time. And, after assuring campus security that they wouldn't be recording any images, they placed the installations in four different locations across MIT's campus.