Project Oxford

Microsoft's Project Oxford series of facial recognition APIs can already try to detect how old a person is in a photo or if they have a twin. Now a new update to those tools can detect a person's emotions in photos, including happiness, sadness, or anger.

Microsoft says:

"In the case of something like facial recognition, the system can learn to recognize certain traits from a training set of pictures it receives, and then it can apply that information to identify facial features in new pictures it sees."

"The emotion tool released today can be used to create systems that recognize eight core emotional states – anger, contempt, fear, disgust, happiness, neutral, sadness or surprise – based on universal facial expressions that reflect those feelings."

Such a tool might be useful for a business who wants to find out a person's reaction to a store display, a movie or product. The emotion tool is currently available for developers to try out now as a public beta on the Project Oxford website. Another tools that is also being released today is for spell checking:

"This spell check tool, which developers can add to their mobile- or cloud-based apps and other products, recognizes slang words such as "gonna," as well as brand names, common name errors and difficult-to-spot errors such as "four" and "for." It also adds new brand names and expressions as they are coined and become popular."

Other Project Oxford tools will be released by the end of the year, again as public betas. They will include ways to analyse and automatically edit video clips, a voice recognition tool and updates to the current facial recognition tools for features like facial hair and smile prediction.

Source: Microsoft; Project Oxford