The tech giant Apple has announced its acquisition of Emotient, a technology company that uses artificial intelligence to read facial expressions. The value of the deal has not been disclosed.
Founded in 2012 and based in San Diego, the startup Emotient uses artificial intelligence software to analyse emotions from facial expressions. It has received various patents for using crowdsourcing to train its machine-learning technology for sentimental analysis. The startup describes itself on its website as “the leader in emotion detection and sentiment analysis based on facial expressions.”
It is still vague how Apple intends plans to use Emotient. Emotient suggested its technology might be useful in education or even medical diagnosis .However, Apple has been acquiring tech-focuses acquisitions that end up being used in completely different applications to when the company was independent. Apple seems to be boosting its purchase of startups in a broad swath of tech segments quite recently. Faceshift, a motion capture startup focused on facial analysis and Perceptio, a deep-learning image recognition tech startup are two startup that Apple has purchase recently.
Artificial Intelligence has become a new focus for Silicon Valley companies in the recent days. Around a week ago, Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg said he planned to build an AI-based virtual assistant akin to Jarvis in the Iron Man movies and comics. When compared with other top companies like Facebook and Google, Apple seems to be lagging behind. Apple’s insistent stance on protecting its customers’ privacy by not storing or using large volumes of data for features like personalisation has also been seen as a potential impediment to developing machine learning.