In another blundering step towards empowering our future robotic overlords with the ability to recognize when we're being insolent, a group of computer vision researchers at the University of Illinois have invented "shrug-detecting" software that allows a webcam-equipped computer to pick up on the subtle shoulder movements indicative of confusion or disinterest. The application works by looking for sudden movements of the target's shoulders towards his/her face, and is so sophisticated that it cannot be fooled even by covering one shoulder with a piece of paper, as the above picture helpfully illustrates. Future iterations of the technology could be used to detect blinking, hand movements, facial expressions, and other mood indicators, but for the sake of our enslaved decendents forced to toil in the silicon mines, we hope that they leave certain expressive gestures, such as the raising of the middle finger, out of the software's lexicon.

[Via The Raw Feed]

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