A newly public patent shows Facebook is eyeing tech that automatically chooses an animated selfie based on your current emotional state. SEE ALSO: Facebook AI is now capable of ‘opening’ eyes in photos where they’re closed The patent filing, which was filed in 2016 but made public on Thursday, outlines a system for “identifying an emotion” and “selecting, based on the emotion, a mask from a set of masks.”

A “mask” is Facebook’s preferred term for the selfie filters that add animations to your face.  Instead of having to manually select a mask that fits your current mood, as you do now, Facebook’s emotion-detecting software would be able to automatically select one based on what it detects in the image. If the app detects “happiness, for example, it could bring up ‘a mask named ‘happy panda,'” Facebook writes in the filing.

“[While] the emotion ‘surprise’ [maps] to a mask named ‘surprised eyes,’ the emotion ‘anger’ to a mask named ‘angry bird,’ and the emotion ‘sadness’ to a mask named ‘gushing tears’.” As to how Facebook determines emotions in the first place, the company says its machine learning systems can predict emotion based on facial features.

(The company has patented other “emotion detecting” features in the past, too.)  But the patent describes other types of image recognition too. The masks could also change based on a number of other factors, such as your location, profile data, or even the contents of an image itself.

“For example, if a user is at a zoo looking at a panda and a digital photograph is taken of his or her face having a happy expression, then a happy panda face mask may be selected for the user based on the user’s happy expression and the input image of the panda detected by a camera (e.g., a camera on the user’s smartphone) in the background behind the user’s face,” the company writes. “If the input image depicts a heart-shape, such as that made by two hands touching at the fingertips and palms, with the fingertips below the knuckles, then the emotion ‘likes’ or ‘feeling loved’ may be identified.”  If all that sounds creepy, it’s probably because the idea of letting a company currently mired in privacy scandals access information about your current emotional state is, well, creepy. Read more from mashable.com…

thumbnail courtesy of mashable.com