Chances are, you’re already familiar with facial recognition software, even if you’ve never spent time in an artificial intelligence lab. The algorithm that Facebook uses for tagging photos, for example, is a version of facial recognition software that can identify faces with a 97.25 percent accuracy.

The problem with most of today’s facial recognition software, however, is that it’s computationally very intensive and difficult to use for more than just matching simple photos. If you could speed up the process of recognizing faces, add the ability to track facial features and make it so easy to use that it could be used as a smartphone app by anyone – then it might open up a number of important new opportunities.

That’s the goal of AI researchers at Carnegie Mellon University’s Human Sensing Laboratory. Starting in Feb. 2016, they will make available their advanced software facial image analysis software to fellow researchers. The software, known as IntraFace, is fast and efficient enough that it can be installed as a smartphone app.

For now, in order to give a preview of what to expect, the researchers have made available free demonstration smartphone apps, which show how IntraFace can identify facial features and detect emotions. These can be downloaded from the website for the Human Sensing Laboratory, from Apple’s App Store, or from Google Play.

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