This Site Can Guess Your Emotion In A Photo

Photographed by Evaan Kheraj.
First, Microsoft claimed to know your real age just by looking at your photo. Now, as another installment of its image-analyzing Project Oxford initiative, it's developed software that can guess your emotions in your photos, too. If we remember correctly, there used to be Quizilla quizzes for both of these concerns — but there's a solid chance Microsoft is a bit more accurate. Here's how it works. You feed the program a photo, and it locates the faces in that photo. Then, it scans them for eight basic emotions (anger, contempt, disgust, fear, happiness, neutrality, sadness, and surprise), scoring each face with how much of each emotion it exhibits. "These emotions are understood to be cross-culturally and universally communicated with particular facial expressions," the program's page explains. The algorithm ranks each of those emotions on a scale of 0 (not present) to 1 (100% feeling that emotion). You can find a live demo of the process here; hovering over each person's face will show how that expression scored on each emotion. The program is impressively accurate, from what we can tell. One photo on the demo, of a smiling couple on vacation, gives the man a .9179 for the "happiness" emotion. (It also gets a small — .0054 — "disgust" rating, which is kind of funny. Maybe the photographer had some broccoli in her teeth?) We also tested this photo of Jennifer Lawrence; she got a whopping .9999 for "happiness." While this is indeed an exciting development in how software can learn and quantify incredibly intangible things such as emotion, we're actually more excited for the potential memes to come out of it (which probably reveals our "real" age more accurately than any algorithm).

More from Tech

R29 Original Series