Facebook acquires emotion detection startup FacioMetrics

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Facebook has acquired emotion detection start-up FacioMetrics to push its artificial intelligence (AI) research into building facial gesture controls.

FacioMetrics developed an app called Intraface that can detect seven different emotions in people’s faces, TechCrunch reported on Thursday.

“Future applications of deep learning platform on mobile: Gesture-based controls, recognize facial expressions and perform related actions,” Facebook wrote.

The social media giant will use FacioMetrics to enhance its Snapchat selfie Lens-style augmented reality face masks that are making their way into its videos and Live broadcasts, the report added.

“How people share and communicate is changing and things like masks and other effects allow people to express themselves in fun and creative ways. We’re excited to welcome the Faciometrics team who will help bring more fun effects to photos and videos and build even more engaging sharing experiences on Facebook,” Facebook said.

According to FacioMetrics founder Fernando De la Torre, associate research professor at Carnegie Mellon University, they started FacioMetrics to respond to the increasing interest and demand for facial image analysis – “with all kinds of applications including augmented/virtual reality, animation, audience reaction measurement, and others”.

The team began research at Carnegie Mellon University developing state-of-the-art computer vision and machine learning algorithms for facial image analysis.

“Over time, we have successfully developed and integrated this cutting-edge technology into battery-friendly and efficient mobile applications, and also created new applications of this technology,” he explained.

De la Torre’s app can help identify drowsy drivers, detect depression and improve avatars in video games.

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Facebook acquires emotion detection startup FacioMetrics