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Apple acquires Emotient start-up to help it identify your mood

Personal assistants like Siri and Google Now are getting smarter and more intuitive by the day.

But what if your smartphone could peer at your glum mug and decide you need a little cheering up? It could instantly begin playing Walking on Sunshine by Katrina and the Waves and all would be right with the world again.

That reality may not be too far away, judging by Apple’s latest AI start-up acquisition.

According to reports, the company has bought up Emotient, a company which specialises in picking up the emotions in people’s faces.

See also: iOS 9 features: What’s new?

The Wall Street Journal says Emotient is often used by advertisers to glean reactions to ads, while it is also used by businesses to gauge the moods of shoppers. Doctors have even frequented the technology to help patients who struggle to express themselves verbally.

Despite our own wishful speculation earlier in this article, there’s no telling what Apple plans to do with Emotient.

The company confirmed the acquisition in a statement, but failed to provide further details.

A spokeswoman said: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

The deal follows Apple’s recent acquisitions of Perceptio and VocalIQ as it seeks to boost its footprint in the artificial intelligence sector.

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