Amazon Is Developing a Technology That Can Read Human Emotions

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Photo by Rahul Chakraborty on Unsplash

Amazon is currently working on a unique device that can recognize your emotions as you feel them. This device will be a wearable device, similar in size and scope to a smartwatch, that will be able to recognize your emotions via the sound of your voice.

The device is being developed as a collaborative effort by the Alexa voice software team and Lab126, the development group behind the creation of the Amazon Fire phone and the Echo smart speaker. There is no word yet on when the device is expected to be released or how far along the development process is, as Amazon has not yet revealed these details. It is known that the program is currently undergoing some beta testing, although it is not known precisely how complete the beta program is.

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How It Will Work

This unique device will work when paired with an exclusive smartphone app. The device will have microphones that will use the sound of the wearer’s voice to decode their emotions; the goal is to expand the technology to help people interact more effectively with others and potentially even resolve social conflicts. For instance, the device may detect someone becoming upset and recommend that they take a walk to calm down.

In 2017, Amazon filed a patent which describes voice software that can tell the difference between “joy, anger, sorrow, sadness, fear, disgust, boredom, stress, or other emotional states.” A diagram included in the patent indicates that the technology will be able to detect any abnormal emotional conditions, and depicted a woman sniffling and telling her Alexa device that she is hungry. The Alexa device, recognizing that she has a cold due to the sniffling and sad sound of her voice, specifically asks the woman if she wants recipes for chicken soup, a known cold remedy.

The Future of the Technology

Experts believe the technology will not be limited to a wearable wrist device. It seems more than likely that Amazon will want to use this technology in a variety of different digital gadgets, ranging from personal assistants such as Alexa to new technologies that the retail giant is currently behind. For instance, a recent development by Amazon includes the development of a personal assistance robot; the emotional-recognizing technology that Amazon is currently working on could easily be integrated into this at-home robot to serve the needs of the customer better.

And like so many modern technologies, experts also believe that the technology will be used to collect data that Amazon can use to market to consumers. Amazon could theoretically target ads and other market tools to consumers based on their emotions–such as recommending favorite comforts foods to people who sound sad. The ability to target consumers based on their emotions could prove profitable for Amazon.

It is currently unknown exactly when, or if this technology will debut on the public market. Amazon is keeping those details–at least for now–to themselves.


Source: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-05-23/amazon-is-working-on-a-wearable-device-that-reads-human-emotions

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