18th December 2018
Huawei’s Facing Emotions app uses AI to help visually impaired users ‘hear’ facial expressions
By Kyle Wiggers
Blindness, both partial and total, is incredibly common. The World Health Organization estimates that approximately 1.3 billion people live with some form of distance or near-vision condition and that as many as 217 million people suffer from moderate to severe problems with distance vision. Those impairments not only complicate everyday chores like walking the dog and checking the mail, they can make it difficult to pick up on emotional cues, like facial expressions.
To that end, electronics giant Huawei has tapped artificial intelligence (AI) to help blind people “see” the faces of those with whom they’re speaking. The Beijing company today debuted Facing Emotions, an app for the Huawei Mate 20 Pro that can “translate” seven universal emotions — anger, fear, disgust, happiness, sadness, surprise, and contempt — into corresponding sounds.