Your Computer May Know When You're Smiling

Did you smile? Now your computer can answer that question: MIT’s Media Lab is developing technology whereby your computer, with the help of a webcam, can read?facial movements to analyze whether you’re smiling. The technology was first developed to help autistic individuals with expression recognition. Daniel McDuff, the researcher in charge, is collecting data for this project. If you have a webcam, you can try the demo out here — where, after watching a short commercial, you can see a graph of whether your face expressed that the commercial was funny. Or not.

Adrian Meli

Interesting, but what is the purpose of it? What will be the incremental information provided vs. someone just hitting "like" on a webpage? I can see why advertisers would like to know when people smile so they could monetize people better but not sure what is in it for the user... - Adrian Meli


I decided to try reading and discussing your blog with my 8 year old son to expose him to new ideas. He says this idea of computers recognizing facial expressions is "sort of weird but interesting." I wonder what other practical applications such software would have.


there are carmeras broadly available in the market that automatically take a photo by a smile detection. so it is not new technology and there is practical applications.


Can't most new point and shoot cameras do this?

One I tried recently had a 'wink' timer. Instead of counting the timer function counting ten seconds to let you rush around and get in the picture, when someone in the frame winked, it counted 3 seconds and then triggered the shutter


this is really interesting because it puts in a new aspect to advertisement. My question is whether or not this could be aimed at targeting specific audiences. If the camera can detect a smile, it can probably detect the color of the skin of the person. Does that advertisement can be aimed at African American or Whites specifically?


Err.. Okay. Yay, your computer knows when you're smiling. Now what? Did you want a cookie?