Companies Like Intel And Affectiva Are Working On Emotion AI That Could Prevent Car Accidents

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Companies working on artificial intelligence are specializing in add-on technologies that can detect human emotions.

A team of scientists at Intel has come up with an Advanced Emotion Recognition Engine, a highly sophisticated software that can detect seven distinct human emotions: disgust, anger, fear, sadness, happiness, surprise, and contempt.

Dr. Anbang Yao, a senior staff research scientist at Intel Labs China in Beijing, is leading a team that focuses on computer vision. By pairing a visual camera and microphone with smart AI software, scientists are trying to create a machine that can gain insights from digital content and understand a human being’s emotional state.

“I’m helping machines see the world like humans do,” says Yao.

In the AI industry, most visual recognition systems on the market rely only on visual data. However, the scientists at Intel are weaving both visual and audio data into the software so that they could accurately gauge human emotions.

Although this technology is still being perfected, the feature, so far, looks promising. The automobile sector, for instance, will soon make use of this technology to avoid accidents and other mishaps. When the AI engine is paired with a camera in a car, the vehicle wouldn’t start if the technology detects that the driver is intoxicated.

Earlier this week, Affectiva, a company specializing in Artificial Emotional Intelligence (Emotion AI), and Wind River, a company that’s working on Internet of Things (IoT) and connected vehicles, announced their collaboration to advance connected car technologies.

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“In order to react appropriately in an instant, a vehicle must be aware of not only its surroundings but also of what is transpiring inside the cabin,” said Marques McCammon, general manager, Connected Vehicle Solutions, Wind River.

According to the recent press release uploaded on Business Wire, Affectiva’s technology can identify, from face and voice, complex and nuanced emotional and cognitive states of a vehicle’s occupants across the entire autonomous vehicle spectrum.

“In the future, as vehicles become more autonomous, AI will allow for occupant experience monitoring so passengers might receive music and video recommendations based on their mood, as well as lighting and heating adjustments based on comfort and drowsiness levels,” said Dr. Rana el Kaliouby, CEO, and co-founder, Affectiva.

Affectiva Automotive AI measures facial expressions and emotions such as joy, anger, and surprise, as well as vocal expressions of anger, arousal, and laughter, in real-time. The solution, which runs on embedded and mobile devices, also provides key indicators of drowsiness such as yawning, eye closure, and blink rates.