Remember when Microsoft developed a tool that tried to guess our age? Social media feeds were saturated for weeks with outraged 30-year-olds being told they were 50. And other abusive results got into some endless discussions and laughs between friends all over the world.
Now Microsoft’s going further by trying to guess our emotions. Which isn’t at all creepy. Try and guess your emotion on a picture. It 100% isn’t “creeped out”. All a person has to do is upload a photograph to https://www.projectoxford.ai/demo/emotion#detection. Using facial recognition software and artificial intelligence, the emotion recognition engine will create a string of numbers in relation to eight possible emotions: anger, disgust, contempt, fear, happiness, neutral, sadness and surprise.
Microsoft has released an application program interface (API) for the emotional recognition tool, which means a developer could easily produce an emotion-guessing app to go alongside the apps that guess people’s ages. Other APIs also released on the Project Oxford website include the ability to track faces in video and detect individual speaking voices. I
As always, innovations can be dazzling. This is the way it works. Google could also probably tell you that facial recognition tools don’t always work too well. Like the times Google and Flickr were forced to apologize for tagging black people as “gorillas”. That was disturbing. And there are people looking for proofs that your innovation is not worth it – just not yet. So they find the examples to make things awkward. Just consider Sad Keanu and Success Kid famous and overused pictures, then you’ll see that things are not going to make things clearer. Microsoft warns “recognition is experimental, and not always accurate.” This is the least. Microsoft thinks Sad Keanu is only 0.01831 sad, and much more likely to be neutral and apathetic in his classic bench pose. Other memes generate some equally puzzling results. Success kid is apparently mostly angry, and no face is detected for first world problems.
Innovation is all about trying, is all about getting out there and continuing to disrupt what’s accepted by the many. It’s all the same for your product, your brand or your project. Don’t hide behind some possible ‘But if…’ but continue to move in the direction you feel right. The status quo kills more brands than innovation.