Computers can now recognize 21 different emotions

Scientists at Ohio State University have discovered how to make computers recognize up to 21 unique emotions.
Scientists at Ohio State University have discovered how to make computers recognize up to 21 unique emotions.

Ever wondered if you look happily disgusted? Or sadly angry? There may one day be an app for that.

US researchers have uncovered a way for computers to recognize 21 distinct and often complex facial expressions, in what is being hailed as a breakthrough in the field of cognitive analysis.

A team from Ohio State University devised a way for computers to pinpoint more than triple the number of documented facial expressions than currently can be detected.

“We’ve gone beyond facial expressions for simple emotions like ‘happy’ or ‘sad.’ We found a strong consistency in how people move their facial muscles to express 21 categories of emotions,” said Aleix Martinez, a cognitive scientist and associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at Ohio State.

“That is simply stunning. That tells us that these 21 emotions are expressed in the same way by nearly everyone, at least in our culture.”

The research, detailed in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could eventually aid the diagnosis and treatment of mental conditions such as autism and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Until now, cognitive scientists have limited their studies to tracking six basic emotions — happy, sad, fearful, angry, surprised and disgusted.

However, Ohio researchers have been able to vastly increase the range of detectable emotions after photographing the responses of 230 volunteers to verbal cues such as “you just got some great unexpected news” (“happily surprised”), or “you smell a bad odor” (“disgusted”).

Painstaking analysis of the resulting 5,000 images allowed researchers to pinpoint variations on prominent landmarks for facial muscles, such as the corners of the mouth or the outer edge of the eyebrow.

The researchers pored over data from the Facial Action Coding System or FACS, a standard tool in body language analysis, checking for similarities and differences in expressions.

As a result they were able to uncover 21 emotions — the six basic emotions — plus “compound emotions” which were a combination.

For example, “happily surprised,” was a reaction to someone receiving unexpected good news.

Researchers were able to identify the emotion after analyzing the expressions for happy — a drawing up of the cheeks into a smile — and surprise, which saw participants widen their eyes and allow their mouths to drop open.

In 93 percent of cases, participants reflected “happily surprised” with a mixture of the two reactions for “happy” and “surprised.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Woman dies when run over by bus at…

A woman at the Burning Man arts and culture festival in the Nevada desert died on Thursday when she was run over by a bus carrying participants.

National

Texas parents sue day care center for duct…

By Marice RichterDALLAS (Reuters) - A Texas couple has filed a lawsuit against the owners of a Fort Worth-area day care center seeking $1 million…

National

Santa Fe city council votes to decriminalize marijuana

By Joseph KolbALBUQUERQUE N.M. (Reuters) - Santa Fe on Wednesday became the latest U.S. city to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana, with lawmakers in the…

International

Egypt queries Mursi over documents "leaked" to Al…

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt is investigating jailed ex-president Mohamed Mursi in connection with documents that judicial investigators say were leaked to the Qatar-based Al Jazeera…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…