Monday, July 7, 2008

Machine Perception Lab at UCSD in ABC News

Lee Dye from ABC wrote a great story about UC San Diego computer science PhD student Jacob Whitehill's automated facial recognition research. The first couple graphs are below. Read the full story here.

A Computer That Can Read Your Mind
Facial Recognition Program Makes For Better Virtual Teachers

July 7, 2008 —

One of these days your computer will probably know what you are thinking before you know it yourself. The human face conveys emotions ranging from fear to confusion to lying, sometimes involuntarily, and scientists are figuring out how to make use of those expressions.

At the University of California at San Diego, for example, a graduate student has developed a program that will slow down or speed up a video based entirely on changes in his facial expressions, like a slight frown, or a smile. The purpose of this particular program is to make robotic instructors more responsive to their student's needs, but there are many other potential applications for the work.

"The project I'm working on is how can we use machine perception, including things like facial expressions, to improve interactivity between students and teachers," said Jacob Whitehill, a computer science doctoral candidate. "That includes human teachers, and also robotic teachers, which is something our lab is increasingly interested in."

Whitehill has tested his