Snapchat patent suggests humans need technology in order to read other humans’ emotions

Snapchat might be planning a surprise move into customer services. The company has patented a system that would make it easier for customer service staff to work out when people they’re chatting to are annoyed.

The emotion-reading technology would work by mapping people’s faces and analysing their expressions, and Snapchat’s patent suggests it could be used while video-conferencing.

“Although videoconferencing creates a useful channel to provide services to customers, one challenging issue is to deal with irate, annoyed and distressed customers,” reads the document, which was filed in November, but has only just surfaced.

“Customer anger is not always easy to spot even to professional service providers or sale representatives.”

If Snapchat was to succeed in creating such a service, it could prove useful, but it also sounds more than a little disconcerting. I’m not sure I want to live in a world where humans have to rely on computers to read other humans’ faces.

“If the recognized emotional status relates to a negative emotion, such as anger, stress, irritation, and annoyance, the emotional status can be reported to one of the videoconference participants and/or a third party such as a supervisor, administrator, or manager,” the patent continues.

“Optionally, the third party can enter into the videoconference between the individuals to resolve any issues.”

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