Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Just Like China!: London-Based Startup Uses Machine Vision To Judge Your Emotional State

From TechCrunch, May 22:

Realeyes, which uses AI and a front-facing camera to read viewers’ emotions, raises $16.2M
One of the more interesting applications of AI to the world of advertising and marketing has been in how it’s being used to help measure and ultimately shape campaigns. Now, a company providing the technology to do that has raised a round both to expand its business in adtech as well as to tackle new applications in healthcare and education.

Realeyes, a London-based startup that uses computer vision to read a person’s emotional responses when they are watching a video as short as six seconds long, and then using predictive analytics to help map that reading to the video to provide feedback on its effectiveness, has raised $16.2 million in funding, money that it plans to use to expand in engineering and business development.

The rise of “smart” and connected hardware that picks up data as much as produces it is the opportunity that Realeyes is tapping. “We are surrounded by devices with cameras and microphones in them,” CEO and founder Mihkel Jäätma said in an interview.

The Series A round comes after a strong run of growth at the company. It says that revenues have shot up 932 percent in the last four years, and it has added customers like Coca Cola, Mars, Publicis, Turner and Oath (which also owns TechCrunch) to its books.

Realeyes is not wasting time in bringing on extra talent to support the expansion. Barry Coleman, formerly at LootCrate, is coming on as COO. And Maja Pantic, a professor of affective and behavioural computing at Imperial College London who had been on the Realeyes Advisory Board, is getting “a more hands-on role.” Both will report to Jäätma, who started the company while still a student at Oxford....MUCH MORE
Meanwhile, via ForexNews, May 22:

Facing the future: China installs facial recognition technology in schools
China continues to lead the way in embedding facial recognition software into daily life. Biometric information is already widely used for payments (Alibaba’s Alipay ‘Smile and Pay’ function launched late last year) and controversially in crime detection and prevention. Now the cameras and coding have been trained onto the freshest faces around – the nation’s students.

A high school in Hangzhou has introduced facial recognition technology into its classrooms. Its more prosaic functions include automatically recording attendance, organising payment in the canteen and tracking library use. So far, so typical for a country that’s embraced widespread smart CCTV surveillance.

But it also scans students’ faces twice a minute when they’re in lessons and classifies them into different emotional states, including happy, scared, angry, upset, confused and neutral. Teachers are given real-time updates about their pupils’ perceived attentiveness and can take immediate corrective action if minds are wandering.

The ‘intelligent classroom behaviour management system’ also records movement to provide feedback to teachers about individual pupils’ engagement during class. Certain actions, like reading, writing, raising your hand, standing, listening attentively and slumping at your desk are also logged and analysed to improve lesson and learning quality.

Zhang Guanchao, Vice Principal of Hangzhou Number 11 High School, waved off concerns about privacy, explaining that the metrics are stored on a local (rather than a cloud) server and that no actual images are stored – only the resultant analysis. He also emphasised that the intention is to assess the mood and actions of the class as a whole, rather than zero in on specific students.

The cameras have been watching for a month now, and reports reveal that behaviour has improved. It seems that the students have adapted to learning and working under the ceaseless gaze of the classroom cameras....MORE