The Herman Trend Alert|
July 13, 2011
Augmenting Human Perception
The recently cancelled network TV series "Lie to Me" featured Dr. Cal Lightman, who applied psychology to read micro-expressions and body language to determine if people were telling the truth. Now, thanks to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Lab, this assessment will soon be within the reach of all of us.
Back in the 1970s, a United States psychologist Paul Ekman identified a basic set of seven subtle facial expressions that mirror our feelings: happiness, sadness, fear, anger, disgust, contempt and surprise. These expressions became the foundation for a theory of lie detection. This theory details that involuntary micro-expressions can briefly reveal deception before the liar restores a disguise of honesty to his face. Though the theory was later discredited, the principle still had some validity.
MIT's Media Lab has developed special glasses. Using a built-in camera linked to software that analyzes facial micro-expressions, the attached earpiece whispers the true interpretation into one's ear. The camera tracks 24 "feature points" on your conversation partner's face; analyzing the micro-expressions, how often they appear, and for how long. Then it compares the collected data with its bank of known expressions.
When MIT researchers Picard and el Kaliouby were calibrating their prototype, they were surprised to find that the average person was only able to interpret, 54 percent of the 24 expressions on real, non-acted faces correctly. They reasoned that most people could use some help reading the real mood of people they were talking with. By contrast, the software correctly identifies 64 percent of the expressions.
MIT's glasses are just one example of a number of "social X-ray specs" that will change how we interact with each other. By accurately sensing emotions that we would otherwise misinterpret, these technologies can help people avoid disastrous social blunders. Moreover, they can help us understand each other better. Even physiological responses may be tracked by webcam, based on color changes in the subject's face and other manifestations. Some companies are already equipping their employees with these technologies, to help them improve customer communication.
Expect an iPhone app any day to make this technology more accessible to all of us.
Special thanks to the current issue of "New Scientist" Magazine for this topic.
© Copyright 1998- by The Herman Group, Inc. -- reproduction for publication is encouraged, with the following attribution: From "The Herman Trend Alert," by Joyce Gioia, Strategic Business Futurist. 336-210-3547 or http://www.hermangroup.com. To sign up, visit http://www.HermanTrendAlert.com. The Herman Trend Alert is a trademark of The Herman Group, Inc."
EMPLOYERS: FIND GREAT EXPERIENCED EMPLOYEES ON VETJOBS
ANNOUNCING FUTURESCAPES: THE FUTURE OF BUSINESS
HEAR OUR OWN JOYCE GIOIA SPEAK AT WORLDFUTURE 2015: MAKING THE FUTURE
FOOD SUPPLEMENT MAKES A REMARKABLE DIFFERENCE FOR OUR AUTHOR
Herman Trend Alerts are produced by the Herman Group, strategic business futurists, Certified Management Consultants, authors, and professional speakers.
New subscribers are welcome. There is no charge for this public service. The Herman Trend Alert is read by over 30,000 people in 87 countries, including other websites and printed periodicals. Do you enjoy receiving this weekly e-mail update? Contact us about our co-branded Herman Trend Alert service. Click here to sign up for the Herman Trend Alert.
7112 Viridian Lane
Web site design by WebEditor Design Services, Inc.