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Microsoft Research Adds 'Mood Detection' To Smartphones 110

Posted by Soulskill
from the used-it-to-detect-that-users-are-upset-about-mood-detection dept.
angry tapir writes "Researchers at Microsoft Research have produced a prototype software system that can be used on smartphones to infer a user's mood. The 'MoodScope' system produced by researchers uses smartphone usage patterns to determine whether someone is happy, calm, excited, bored or stressed and could potentially add a new dimension to to mobile apps (as well as, as the researchers note, open up a Pandora's Box of privacy issues). The researchers created a low-power background service for iPhones and Android handsets that (with training) can offer reasonable detection of mood and offers and API that app developers could hook into."
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Microsoft Research Adds 'Mood Detection' To Smartphones

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  • Advertising (Score:5, Interesting)

    by invid (163714) on Friday June 28, 2013 @10:57AM (#44132375) Homepage
    When I'm sad will I suddenly see lots of adds for antidepressant?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Automatic text to law enforcement if intoxicated and in motion greater than 10 MPH, complete with location coordinates and picture from phone camera. You will have to agree to this when you get your phone. Having a phone is a privilege, not a right.
  • by Piata (927858) on Friday June 28, 2013 @11:01AM (#44132411)

    Dear Microsoft, I don't want my phone to know what I eat for breakfast, how I'm feeling or how I choose to spend my time. I just need it to make phone calls and check my email. That's it. That's all.

    Can you please stop being such a creepy digital stalker? It's gone well past disturbing at this point.

    • by digitalchinky (650880) <dtchky@gmail.com> on Friday June 28, 2013 @11:20AM (#44132593)

      Whenever I approach society, particularly women, I'm very quickly enlightened about my emotional state : ) I don't think hearing it again from my phone would add any useful data to that stack of baggage. One thing that would be extremely cool would be a sensor for smell, I was born completely without this so I'd love to know if I smell bad, gas is leaking, burning and so on. I never actually even knew smell existed until I was in my teens, it took another year or so after that for me to believe people weren't just faking it.

      • I'm not as bad as you, but I thought people were exagerating smells (and they thought I was exagerating how little I could smell)... I too would love an olfactory addon.
    • The return of Clippy: "You look like you are in a bad mood. Would you like me to help you with that?"

    • Then maybe you should avoid buying a phone that includes such features.

      +4 Insightful?? Really??

    • I cannot agree more with this. Every new version of Android/iOS/Windows Phone seems to be all about more integration with various advertising platforms (Google, Facebook, Twitter, the list goes on) - with Samsung even calling their phones a "Life Companion" now. I'm sorry, but I put a ring (not a ringtone) on my life companion, and I don't give a shit about tweeting or "checking in" when I'm on the crapper. Making phone calls and responding to emails are my killer apps, and that's it.
    • by PopeRatzo (965947)

      Dear Microsoft, I don't want my phone to know what I eat for breakfast

      You mean you don't want your phone to snitch to your boss and tell him that you're not sufficiently grateful to have a job?

      I can't wait until they get the Holy Grail and your Kinect can be used to tell if you're telling the truth, or if your discontent makes you unfit for the workplace.

      Snitchware is the next killer app for the workplace. For law enforcement, too. We know that tyrants have used "security" as an excuse before, but this ma

    • Dear Microsoft, I don't want my phone to know what I eat for breakfast, how I'm feeling or how I choose to spend my time. I just need it to make phone calls and check my email. That's it. That's all.

      Can you please stop being such a creepy digital stalker? It's gone well past disturbing at this point.

      Welcome! To the Microsoft Help Line. All of our agents are currently busy helping other customers. Please stay on the line. Your call is VERY important to us! Oh dear...

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Nothing else left to say.

  • Hmmm (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gstoddart (321705) on Friday June 28, 2013 @11:09AM (#44132489) Homepage

    The researchers created a low-power background service for iPhones and Android handsets

    I currently own both an iPad and and Nexus tablet ... and if Microsoft thinks I'd be willing to install any of their shit on them, they're sadly mistaken.

    WTF would I want my phone to know anything about my mood for? And why should I trust Microsoft with the data? They'll just roll over and hand it to the NSA anyway.

    Microsoft Research has specialized in making shit nobody has wanted for years. Pity they couldn't focus on making products people actually want.

    • by st3v (805783)
      You think Google is any better? They breach people's privacy horrendously. I actually trust Microsoft more. Google tracks everything you do and uses that to target advertise to you. If you have an android device and take it with you, they track all routes you drive, places you've been to, and save that to their database. This is enabled by default, and you need to dig deep to find out how to disable these privacy breaches. This is just the tip of the iceberg with Google. Wake up.
      • by gstoddart (321705)

        You think Google is any better?

        Absolutely not, which is why Google Analytics and other such crap is blocked at my firewall or my browser. At every step I block as much information getting to them as possible

        I don't trust any multinational company, but I also know I'm not going to live in a cave either.

  • and you would be connected to a person if it detected you were angry. What happened to that? I get angry when I need to talk to a person and the phone tree doesn't offer that option, but I have never been connected to a person as a result. That's what I want, when you detect I am swearing, connect me to a person damnit!

    • Most likely, everyone figured out that they could yell and swear and raise holy hell and finally get a human being on the line; and since nobody wants to talk to those stupid computers[1], they started yelling and swearing and raising holy hell and getting through to a human being. And we can't have that, now, can we?

      [1] Hey, you out there! Mr. Customer "Service" Guy, where "service" is the way that a hog services a sow! (Not necessarily the parent to this post, of course.) NOBODY WANTS TO TALK TO THOSE

  • ... I bet it defaults to 'pretty angry' and 'fucking windows' moods.

  • Smoke and Mirrors (Score:4, Informative)

    by Antipater (2053064) on Friday June 28, 2013 @11:21AM (#44132611)
    Pshaw. We know all it's doing is changing color based on our body temperature! Chris Petrila fooled me with this in the first grade, and I won't let Microsoft fool me with it now!
  • This could be useful if the robot lady in Google Maps understood to STFU when I started yelling at her.
  • by Toshito (452851) on Friday June 28, 2013 @11:23AM (#44132631)

    They don't make a version for their own phone OS?

    • Re:Windows phone??? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by guttentag (313541) on Friday June 28, 2013 @11:50AM (#44133005) Journal

      They don't make a version for their own phone OS?

      Because hardly anyone buys phones with their phone OS. True story... not a troll:

      I have a friend who has been anti-smartphone for years. She absolutely refused to buy a smartphone because she knew she'd end up playing with it all the time. Every time her cheap "dumb" phone died, she'd go get another cheap dumb phone. A couple months ago she told me she got a Lumia. I was shocked. She said she only got it because the salesperson was offering it for free because they weren't selling. That and he said it was so bad she figured she wouldn't get sucked into playing with it. Her review after a few weeks: "It's pretty, but I hate using it. Which is exactly what I wanted." Reminds me of Domino in Thunderball (the novel), telling the tobacconist she wants a carton of cigarettes that is so terrible it will make her stop smoking.

      I'm not saying no one uses Windows phones. There are people who have them specifically because they hate them and they were free.

      • by gstoddart (321705)

        There are people who have them specifically because they hate them and they were free.

        Wow, that's technology masochism ... do these people also wear enormous butt plugs and itchy clothes?

        I'm afraid I don't follow the logic behind something you hate but that was free ... ghonorea is free too.

        • I'm afraid I don't follow the logic behind something you hate but that was free ... ghonorea is free too.

          So, you've been monitoring my breeding program [wikipedia.org] (paragraph 3) have you?

      • by Toshito (452851)

        That's funny because I have a Lumia 920, and I love it. I had an Android phone before and it was a complete mess of an interface. And there are more apps than on windows phone, but 90% of them are pure crap.

        I hate windows 8 with a passion, but the metro interface on a touch phone is very good.

        The Lumia is fast, reliable, has a better screen than the iphone, and the camera is great. The navigation and maps are fantastic, I have access to maps for almost every country of the world, and I can choose to downloa

  • Microsoft's version of Seri.

  • We sense that re-arranging your icons made you angry...we will find them again, trust us :)
  • It's just a smartphone version of the mood rings that were popular in the '70s.
  • If this feature catches wind, they can develop some "cool app" which uses the mood information, and which, surprise surprise, does the processing on the server side, giving yet another data point for sucking all data from my personal life.
  • by MiniMike (234881) on Friday June 28, 2013 @11:37AM (#44132803)

    The researchers created a low-power background service for iPhones and Android handsets

    I guess they had to drop the Windows phone variant, as the moods only varied between 'disappointed' and 'highly annoyed'.

    • by Smivs (1197859)

      The researchers created a low-power background service for iPhones and Android handsets

      I guess they had to drop the Windows phone variant, as the moods only varied between 'disappointed' and 'highly annoyed'.

      maybe it just wasn't worth the effort for such a small niche market.

      • Yes, as a WP user, I find it comforting to know even MS research does not believe it to be something worth using.. :)

  • Can it detect my apathy?
  • From Article:

    Using a "hybrid" model that incorporated data from other users, after 10 days 72 per cent accuracy could be achieved.

    So I'm reading this as "The new mood detection system is about as accurate as the Human 'reading of minds' or search engine optimization."

  • Windows 10 is flopping. Surface is too expensive. MS Bob [wikipedia.org] didn't turn out so well.

    This will sell to the tune of billions. Fer Sher.
     
    /snark

  • "MoodScope detects that you are sad because you are using Windows". "MoodScope will attempt to Bing for remedies...."
  • What mood are you in when you're not eating your own dogfood, MS?
  • I can see a subtle difference in my expectations, depending on my mood.
    When I'm in a good mood, I just want my smart phone to do what I tell it to do.
    When I'm in a bad mood, my phone damn well better do exactly what I tell it to do, if it knows what's good for it.

  • Consumer: I feel happy! I feel happy!
    Windows Phone: You're not fooling anyone you know.

  • I can see it now. My phone displays a message stating something to the effect of "It seems like you're having a bad day. Why don't you take a break and relax", shortly before I throw it at the wall as hard as possible. Then I quickly get a new phone without the new "feature".
  • by RoboJ1M (992925) on Friday June 28, 2013 @01:11PM (#44134375)
    [Flags]
    public enum Moods
    {
        FeckedOffWithWindows,
        WishingTheydBoughtAnIPhone,
        WishingTheydBoughtAnAndroid,
    }
  • Fortunately, all they were able to get working correctly was the 'Frustrated' mood detection. So it should work flawlessly.
  • It'll be all sorts of weird colors for a few months, and then it'll turn black and stay that way.

  • The 'MoodScope' system produced by researchers uses smartphone usage patterns to determine whether someone is happy, calm, excited, bored or stressed ...

    This should be easy to implement on a Windows Phone because whenever I use a Microsoft product, I generally end up "angry". To be fair, I had the same emotional result when I tried using Unity...

  • Oh hell yeah sign me up I want M$ to have a detailed records of my moods over a span of years so it can

    1) be used against me in a court of law somehow (are you prone to anger? are you moody ? Mr. Maykabuck , are you an expert in mood disorders and what can you tell us about the defendant from this record? )

    2) be used to deny me a job, without me ever knowing !

    3) used to compromise me in some other way I am not creative enough to think of..

    Naww.. what am I worry about....M$ would never do that...

    • by Nyder (754090)

      Oh hell yeah sign me up I want M$ to have a detailed records of my moods over a span of years so it can

      1) be used against me in a court of law somehow (are you prone to anger? are you moody ? Mr. Maykabuck , are you an expert in mood disorders and what can you tell us about the defendant from this record? )

      2) be used to deny me a job, without me ever knowing !

      3) used to compromise me in some other way I am not creative enough to think of..

      Naww.. what am I worry about....M$ would never do that....

      You are right M$ would never do it, but the Government who has direct access to their data would. Or even better, whom ever M$ decides to sell the data to.

  • I forsee that in ten years, computers tracking my behavior will be able to tell me I have some disease, but the doctor will not be able to spot it. Except perhaps if the cloud will spam him with targeted pharma advertisements.

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