From Star Trek to Star Wars, lifelike machines has long been a subject of sci-fi movies. Fiction, however, is soon to become reality – as Amazon works on a device that can recognize human emotion.
As Bloomberg reports, Amazon is currently developing a gadget that is capable of reading human emotion in collaboration between the Alexa voice software team and Lab123, the group behind Amazon’s Fire phone and Echo smart speaker.
This voice-activated device is designed to apprehend a person’s emotional state solely from the sound of his or her voice. Worn on a wrist of the subject, it would work with a smartphone app and is designated as a ‘health and wellness’ product.
A US patent filed in 2017 suggests Amazon could use recognition of human emotion to recommend products or otherwise tailor responses – as it describes a system in which voice software analyzes vocal patterns and distinguishes between “joy, anger, sorrow, sadness, fear, disgust, boredom, stress, or other emotional states.”
Diagrams in the patent filing reveal a sneak peek of how a situation in which the invention would prove helpful:
A sniffling woman tells Alexa she is hungry – and the digital assistant, picking up the command and detecting that she has a cold, puts two and two together and asks if she would like a recipe for a chicken soup to warm her up.
It is, however, still unclear how far along the project is or if it will ever become a commercial product. Amazon declined to comment on the report.
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