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­ of R Grad's Studies ­tilize Google Glass

Researcher Natasha Jaques wears a pair of Google Glasses.

A Massachussetts Institute of Technology doctoral student is studying how Google Glass can improve the quality of life of people with autism.

Credit: Troy Fleece/Regina Leader-Post

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) doctoral student and University of Regina graduate Natasha Jaques is studying how Google Glass can improve the quality of life of people on the autism spectrum.

Jaques is developing software that would use Glass' camera to recognize facial expressions that occur during conversations between people and communicate them to the user. "It helps them out by making explicit certain social cues that the person might be expressing," she says. "So, if the person seems really bored, then the Glass would tell them that and it would give them this extra leg up to help with the conversation."

The research is described as affective computing, or emotional computing, because it uses machine learning to help predict human emotions. "Machine learning is kind of a sub-field or a branch of artificial intelligence that looks at analyzing huge amounts of data that a human never could," Jaques says.

MIT professor Rosalind Picard thinks Jaques' idea is now feasible thanks to technology such as Glass, and has the potential to become a real product. "I think people want the ability to recognize faces, recognize the expressions on the faces in real time, effortlessly," Picard says.

From Regina Leader-Post (Canada)
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