BBC Testing Facial Recognition Tech to Gauge Response to Top Gear, Sherlock and Others

By Gerald Lynch on at

Did you cry when Sherlock "died"? Do you scream with disgust every time Jeremy Clarkson pops up in Top Gear? The BBC wants to know your response to a number of its top shows, and it's looking to employ facial recognition technology to find out.

A pilot test group of 200 participants in the UK is being given facial coding web cams that can measure expressions including those of happiness, anger, fear, anger, surprise, disgust and sadness.

The technology has been built by British start-up CrowdEmotion, recently awarded the 'Innovators’ Innovator' award at the Technology Innovators Forum. The BBC is looking to eventually extend the tests to Russian and Australian markets for a second research period, ahead of a larger third testing period in a further six (as-yet-undisclosed) international territories.

It's hoped the testing will humanise the BBC Worldwide brand, with the programming research helping to "bring emotions to life and reshape broadcast media through our findings," according to Matthew Celuszak, chief executive of CrowdEmotion. You could argue that looking to quantify human emotions is the exact opposite of a humanising act, but if it leads to less Clarkson on the box, I wouldn't be complaining. [Telegraph]