Facebook patents emotion-sensing technology to ‘deliver better content’

Recently, Facebook developed an emotion-sensing technology that would use your webcam on your laptop or smartphone camera to detect your emotions based on your facial movements and expressions and therefore deliver content that is more relevant.

What’s the big idea?

As you might have already guessed, your privacy might be compromised on a whole new level if this new emotion-recognizing technology comes out. Although it has been reported that Facebook got the patent back in 2015, it has, however, not been launched it yet.

In any case, the giant social media firm will have to play a long shot if it wants its users to accept such a feature.

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How will the technology work?

As mentioned, Facebook will use your camera even when it is not turned on to monitor your emotions through a sophisticated algorithm that will understand your mood.

That is, the technology will allow Facebook to determine whether you are happy, sad, depressed or excited. Based on this, it will display the right type of content and advertisements that will suit your mood. So, for instance, if you are feeling depressed and your expression shows that you are down, the camera will match this emotion with the right type of product or content to uplift your mood.

The product will then be displayed accordingly right on time. This means Facebook will virtually know everything it can regarding your personality and mood swings without you even being aware of it. 

According to CBI Insights:

“This patent proposes capturing images of the user through smartphone or laptop cameras, even when the user is not actively using the camera. By visually tracking a user’s facial expression, Facebook aims to monitor the user’s emotional reactions to different types of content.”

Also, the technology will work in a way that will prevent irrelevant content being shown again and again. It will do so by monitoring your expressions to certain advertisements, and if you happen to avert your eyes from them or express anything that shows you are annoyed, the particular piece of content will not be shown again.

Other patents

Facebook has been working on various other technologies that aim to monitor and analyze emotions and thus develop algorithms that would allow the company to get more personal with its users.

Case in point, Facebook has listed another patent which belongs to a certain messaging technology. Reports say that the technology is such that it will monitor the speed with which you are typing a message or the intensity with which you are tapping on a key and hence figure out what you are feeling.

Based on the information, it will automatically change things like the font size of the message or include emojis to reflect better what the user is feeling.

A Facebook Spokesperson contacted HackRead and explained that:

“We often seek patents for the technology we never implement, and patents should not be taken as an indication of future plans.”

It looks like Mark Zuckerberg takes his online privacy seriously however when it comes to Facebook users things are otherwise.

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Jahanzaib Hassan