researchers at technology giant Amazon are reportedly working on a wearable device that will be able to recognize human emotions from a voice.
According to Bloomberg, the project is a collaboration between experts in the Alexa division and Lab126, the development team responsible for designing the Amazon Echo, Kindle and Fire tablets. It is reportedly a “health and wellness” device that is worn on the wrist.
Based on internal documents, Bloomberg reported that the product is paired with a smartphone app and used microphones combined with software to detect an emotional state.
The publication said the project was currently code named Dylan, but it remained unclear when, or if, it will be made available. The tech appeared to be similar to a 2017 patent that emerged last year demonstrating how a voice assistant could respond to vocal cues of a user. A diagram depicted a human coughing and Alexa offering to order cough drops with a quick delivery.
As reported by Business Insider at the time, the tech could lead to more natural conversations with virtual assistants. But Amazon would likely have to address privacy concerns.
On Tuesday, Amazon Alexa senior applied scientist Viktor Rozgic revealed more information about how the company is training artificial intelligence to recognize voice emotion.
He wrote: “A person’s tone of voice can tell you a lot about how they’re feeling. Not surprisingly, emotion recognition is an increasingly popular conversational-AI research topic.
“Emotion recognition has a wide range of applications: It can aid in health monitoring; it can make conversational-AI systems more engaging; and it can provide implicit customer feedback that could help voice agents like Alexa learn from their mistakes,” Rozgic wrote. Read more