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How to Use GIFs to Teach Computers About Emotions — wired.com

Deep in the bowels of the avant-garde, glass and metal MIT Media Lab, graduate student Kevin Hu is making faces into an ornate mirror. He opens his eyes and mouth as wide as possible in a caricature of shock. A hidden webcam analyzes his facial expression in real time, digs through a vast database for GIFs that convey a similar emotion, and projects them on the surface of the mirror, against Hu’s reflection. In quick succession it spits out a series of disparate images: a surprised anime character, an affronted Walter White, and then a man in a crowd with an astonished, wide-open mouth much like Hu’s own.

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