Facebook’s New Artificial Intelligence Backed Bots Mimic Human Expressions

Have you seen the Spielberg’s 2001 super hit sci-fi movie, AI Artificial Intelligence? If you have, do you remember the little kid, David, the advanced humanoid robot with human like expressions? At times he appeared quite creepy. What if I say, such a creature is being designed? Surprised? Don’t be. And, even if you haven’t seen the movie, don’t worry, I have a great story to share with you.

The AI scientists at Facebook have developed a David kind AI powered expressive bot capable of mimicking human expressions. The bot is a high tech animation controlled by an artificially intelligent algorithm.

How does this Artificial Intelligence algorithm mimic expressions?

This disruptive algorithm was trained on a series of YouTube videos of Skype conversations where it learned to identify human’s facial expressions. In a recently published paper, the company’s AI researchers have clearly explained the procedure and their efforts undertaken in training the bot to exhibit human like facial expressions.

Since everyone’s face has a different shape and texture, it would be difficult to train the bot to recognize a particular expression. Therefore, the system was trained to recognize subtle patterns in our faces. The AI algorithm used for the process divided the human face into 68 key points and monitored it throughout every Skype conversation.


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After long training sessions, the bot was able to determine the expressions of a human speaking in a video, and it would choose the most appropriate facial response in real time accordingly. For example, if the user would smile or laugh, the bot, in response, would open its mouth to express happiness.

Later, the company’s researchers tested the system on ordinary people with the bot reacting to a human and a human reacting to another human which yielded astonishing results as the bot was judged to be as natural and realistic as humans.

Critical Acclaims

The research has been amazing and has garnered good response from some world-class AI researchers.

Louis-Philippe Morency, an AI researcher and professor at Carnegie Mellon University who is studying human-computer communicative behaviours said, “In this case, the Facebook system ends up creating a kind of average personality”. He further added, “In future, more sophisticated bots might be able to pick from a range of personalities or adapt their own to match the person they are talking to.”

Considering the commendable work executed by the team, Facebook is all set to showcase its work at the International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems.

However, the animations were quite basic and it would need constant improvisations over the years to build a humanly reactive bot. Yet, this appears to be a great achievement for the AI researchers at Facebook who have paved the path for making more realistic and human-like bots.

We, at Tech News Inc, believe that the pace at which Artificial Intelligence is beautifully re-designing the world, we can see reel David around us very soon. Welcome to the reality of Artificial Intelligence.

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