Smartphones Could Soon Sense Your Emotions
December 5, 2012 7:38 AM
New computer application determines your mood based on voice
could become mood rings in the near future, as researchers toy with a mood-reading application for our mobile devices.
Engineers at the University of Rochester, led by electrical and computer engineering professor Wendi Heinzelman, have created a computer program that examines certain qualities in our voices to determine our mood.
How exactly does a smartphone understand human emotion? Rather than pay attention to what we're saying, the computer focuses on how we're saying it. More specifically, it analyzes 12 features of speech like volume and pitch to determine which emotion is felt. The emotions in this test were happy, sad, fearful, neutral and disgusted.
The application analyzed a recorded voice, which ranged in volume, pitch, tone, etc. in short intervals. It was taught by researchers how to classify certain measurable voice characteristics with a specific mood, and from there, the computer was able to determine one of the five moods it learned. If it was unsure, it could classify the voice as "unclassified."
In tests, the computer had 81 percent accuracy. This was a significant improvement on previous efforts, which achieved 55 percent accuracy. However, the downside is that when the recorded voice changed to a different person, the accuracy dropped to 30 percent. The researchers are working on getting the computer to understand the emotions of a range of different people.
"We want to be confident that when the computer thinks the recorded speech reflects a particular emotion, that it is very likely it is
indeed portraying this emotion
," said Heinzelman.
"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
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