CompaniesApple buys artificial intelligence start-up Emotient

Apple has acquired a start-up that uses artificial intelligence software to analyse emotions from facial expressions, the latest in a string of acquisitions that may point to a push into virtual or “augmented” reality or enhance its automotive research. San Diego-based Emotient was founded in 2012 and has already been awarded patents covering how it uses crowdsourcing to “train” its machine learning technology for sentiment analysis and – crucially for the privacy-conscious Apple – a way to understand facial expressions without storing recognisable images of individuals’ faces, reports Tim Bradshaw in San Francisco. Blog posts on Emotient’s website, which have been removed following Apple’s acquisition, described how it “harvests faces” to create “emotion-aware machines”. A team of real people, via crowdsourcing, were used to train its machine learning system by…


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