Should Facebook draw the line on Emotion Analysis?

Facebook is reportedly developing a new technology that uses your phone’s camera or webcam to spy on your emotions. Patent documents have been revealed by CB Insights that contain illustrations of a user holding a smartphone while taking a picture. “Emotion characteristics” are identified, such as smiling or frowning.

The patent is called ‘Techniques for motion detection and content delivery‘ and is designed to identify a user’s reactions through motion-detection. The patent also uses ‘passive imaging data,’ which technically means that the data will be collected through videos captured by cameras, even though they are not turned on.

The new feature is specially designed to increase targeted advertising. With this new emotion technology, Facebook is able to have an even deeper understanding of what users want to see on their timeline, and therefore filter advertisements and content based on that. If a user watches an advertisement for shoes and appears to be ‘happy,’ in future, more related advertisements may be displayed to the user.

The possibility of being able to anticipate and serve users even better through sentiment analysis, or, opinion mining, has seen the rise of the kind of tech that can gauge positive, negative, or neutral reactions. Emotion analysis is going to take analytics to another level.. This May 25 the tech giant was granted a patent to make text messages and the emotions behind them more distinguishable, down to how hard the keys are pressed as you’re typing. The system then changes the size and front of the text accordingly, ‘shaping’ it to reflect your true emotions.

This news has yet to be confirmed by Facebook but several people have questioned the ethical implications of such technology. You may have noticed in social media people are curious and attracted to the new and unusual. This new tech can cause some major upheaval in the long run, or, as great businesses know- iteration will ensure its survival in the form of something the rest of the world can get behind.

For those who share the sentiment that getting messages across is confusing as is…

Buckle UP (?)



CB Insights