Affectiva, an emotion measurement technology company, originally launched its API that measures emotional responses to content on a screen as a tool for market research, publishers, and advertisers. In the years following the launch, Affectiva has expanded its use cases through partnerships with gaming companies, chat companies, and many more. This week, at TechCrunch Disrupt, Affectiva announced that its API and SDK will now be free to all companies that produce less than a million dollars per year.
"At Affectiva, our vision is to bring artificial emotional intelligence to our devices and digital experiences," Rana el Kaliouby, Affectiva CEO, told a panel at the conference. "What that means is we are collecting a lot of data about people's facial expressions, their voices, their gestures and we're feeding all of that to a machine learning system that learns to map your facial expressions into an emotional state."
One of the newer use case scenarios for the API can be seen through Affectiva's partnership with Giphy. The Affectiva partnership will integrate with Giphy's GIF service to recognize and share emotions detected within a GIF. The integration may well eliminate the need for users to add hashtags (e.g. #angry, #confused, etc.) to GIFs, as the Affectiva platform will analyze each human face in the animation and add such emotions to the Giphy metadata.
The free option from Affectiva will allow startups and app developers to truly experiment with Affectiva's AI tool to explore new potential use cases. For instance, an app developer could suggest complementary content if a user looks confused. Traditionally, even testing such AI functionality within an app would be prohibitively expensive. Affectiva is essentially democratizing its product for use by anybody interested; and, not charging until the company can afford it.