Facebook Patents Emotion Detection Filters

Facebook emotion detection filters
Source: Medium

A picture says a thousand words, but if Facebook has its way, your selfies will soon say a whole lot more. A patent filed by the social media platform in 2016 was made public in June, revealing it was working on software that can not only identify your emotional state based on facial markers, but would also select an animated filter or mask based on its findings.

The news follows hot on the heels of reports that the platform was also looking at tech that is capable of opening closed eyes in photos.

What Facebook Said

According to the patent, the software will complete its task automatically, eliminating the need for users to scroll, click or swipe through a selection of filters. Facebook wrote that, should the software detect the subject of the photo is happy, it might supply a Happy Panda filter.

Sadness, anger, and surprise, on the other hand, may result in a Gushing Tears, Angry Bird, and Surprised Eyes filters, respectively.

Why Is This Useful?

Such technology could be of immense benefit in all sorts of situations. With so much social media activity happening via mobile devices, it makes sense that, in most situations, users are actually busy with something else.

Should Facebook’s emotion detection patent result in something that eventually reaches its users, it would enable them to keep doing what they need to do, while still being able to look good in the pictures they post online.

For example, if a player wins a Slots jackpot, one of the first things they want to do is take a selfie that captures their moment of victory. However, there is usually a great deal going on around them at the time, from other players congratulating them, to officials explaining how the winnings will be paid out.

With Facebook’s emotion detection selfie tech, if you won a jackpot at our online casino Canada, you would simply need to take the picture, and let the software do the rest of the work. You would be able to post the perfect selfie that would make all your friends jealous.

How It Works

The software outlined in the patent is an extension of its existing systems capable of gauging emotion based on facial features. The new tech, however, should also be able to take factors such as your profile data, location, and surrounding features depicted in the photo.

Facebook supplied the example of a user visiting a zoo. If they visited the panda enclosure, and took a picture of themselves looking happy, the software would supply a Happy Panda filter, in response to facial features as well as the detection of a panda in the background. A different background would result in a different mask. For example, if a heart shape is detected, the suggested filter may be Feeling Loved.

Closed Eyes Aren’t a Problem

Blinking is something we do automatically, even when we are trying to take the best selfie ever. It is also something that at least one person in any group photo has to do. How many pictures would be perfect but for closed eyes?

That also will not be a problem, if the social media platform’s developers have anything to do with it. According to a research paper it published earlier this year, it was looking at developing technology able to correct red eyes, remove unsightly marks and blemishes, and make closed eyes look as though they are open. If realised, it will be the first software to make such edits while still taking lighting and other variable factors into account.

Of course, given the recent Facebook data scandal, whether users will be comfortable enough to use such innovations remains to be seen.