Artificial Intelligence Engine Knows if You are Feeling Happy or Sad

Intel Innovator: Dr. Anbang Yao, Senior Staff Research Scientist, Intel Labs China

intel anbang yao
Dr. Anbang Yao, a senior staff research scientist at Intel Labs China in Beijing, leads a team of artificial intelligence (AI) researchers working on computer vision, a field of research that allows machines to gain insight from digital content. (Credit: Walden Kirsch/Intel Corporation)

How he’d describe his work to a 10-year-old: “I’m helping machines see the world like humans do.”

More: Read about all Intel Innovators | Artificial Intelligence

Imagine a machine that tells if you’re happy or sad: Anbang leads a small team of artificial intelligence (AI) researchers at Intel Labs China in Beijing. They work to significantly advance computer vision, a specific field of research that allows machines to gain more insight from digital content. His team’s goal? Create computers that accurately detect and understand a person’s emotional state by pairing a visual camera and microphone with smart AI software.

Meet the “advanced emotion recognition engine”: Three years ago, Anbang and his team created intelligent, highly sophisticated software that can detect seven distinct human emotions: disgust, anger, fear, sadness, happiness, surprise and contempt. Their work is gaining notice across the industry, winning first place in a 2017 worldwide AI competition called EmotiW. Today, a version of Anbang’s AI engine is available in Intel® RealSense™ cameras.

Richer data boosts accuracy: To more accurately gauge the emotion someone is expressing, Anbang weaves both visual and audio data into his recognition engine, which produces a “confidence score,” a percentage figure that indicates the AI’s degree of confidence in the result. Most leading visual recognition systems on the market today rely only on visual data.

Far-out tech with far-reaching impact: With commercial applications likely years away, Intel teams work on proof-of-concept tests to explore and demonstrate how this technology might be used. For example, when this AI engine is paired with a camera, it could ensure a car will not start if it detects the driver is intoxicated; it could be used in home-care robots for the elderly; or it can act as an improved voice assistant that interacts with you at a level beyond verbal commands.

When Anbang met PC: Anbang grew up in a poor village in China’s northwestern Gansu province. He earned his Ph.D. in information and communication engineering from China’s Tsinghua University, though he had never seen, much less used, a computer before he went to college.

Leaving a visible impact on our lives: “I grew up watching advertisements of computers on my family’s aging television, and I somehow always knew I wanted to be a computer scientist one day,” he says. “Today, the work we’re doing in this field is going to change many lives. I can’t wait to see how our customers are going to use our technology in their products.”

» Click for full image

About Intel
Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) expands the boundaries of technology to make the most amazing experiences possible. Information about Intel can be found at newsroom.intel.com and intel.com.

Intel and the Intel logo are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the United States and other countries.

*Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.