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Developing computers that can read emotions

August 11, 2019 - 4:44 pm

KYW Newsradio’s Medical Reports are sponsored by Independence Blue Cross. ​

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — We are demanding more and more out of computers in medicine today. But now, researchers at Colorado University are trying to take computers to the next level. 

They are trying to devise a way where computers could monitor a person's emotions. The concept is called machine learning technology, and the idea is that a computer can recognize the content of images, interpreting the content to such a level that it may be able to actually gain a sense of emotions. 

The computer that they developed in their study can actually monitor happiness, sadness and anxiety. The problem right now is that it's very early in the process and the computer reacts to smiles and facial changes but does not respond to subtle things such as a different look in the eyes. 

In other words, the computer is a long way from prime time.