Facial recognition can be used for things like capturing criminals, tagging photos on social media platforms, and figuring out if hospital patients are in pain. One professor thought that he could take this software development a step further, which is why he created facial recognition software to read CEOs’ minds.An assistant finance professor at University of Central Missouri, James Cicon, built software that analyzed video of the faces of Fortune 500 executives for signs of emotions like fear, anger, disgust or surprise. He found that emotions correlated with profit margins, returns on assets, stock price moves, and other measures of performance for their companies, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.(Related: MIT researchers are working on object recognition through AI)Cicon and his colleagues scanned more than 200 videos of CEOs and former CEOs of companies like Citigroup, ConAgra Foods, FedEx and Macy’s. These videos included media interviews and footage shot during quarterly earnings calls. Having fear, anger, and disgust are considered negative emotions, but Cicon found these emotions correlated positively with financial performance.“CEOs whose faces during a media interview showed disgust—as evidenced by lowered eyebrows and eyes, and a closed, pursed mouth—were associated with a 9.3% boost in overall profits in the following quarter,” the report said. “CEOs who expressed fear—raised eyebrows, widened eyes and mouth, and lips pulled in at the corners—saw their companies’ stock rise .4% in the following week.”Fear is recognized as a powerful motivator, which is why a CEO who appears fearful under interrogation is perceived by the market as a CEO who will work harder to increase firm value, according to research by Steve Ferris of the University of Missouri, and Ali Akansu and Yanjia Sun of the New Jersey Institute of Technology.Cicon’s approach to analyzing emotions based on facial imagery dates back to the 1970s. A psychologist named Paul Ekman developed more than 5,000 micro-expressions that signal feelings across human culture. He tried to prove that facial expressions betray emotions that run counter to people’s words, so, a person might say that they liked something while their facial expressions say otherwise.Cicon hopes that eventually he can teach the software to measure degrees of sincerity or truthfulness, although accuracy is currently an issue. He said that his emotion coding system is 90% accurate, but software inspired by his work hasn’t been tested independently, according to the WSJ.
Active-active deployment support is designed to provide continuous availability for Amazon Web Services applications, and it allows developers to eliminate unplanned and planned downtime, as well as guard against process, server, and data center failures.Other features of the release include table partitioning; storage groups; improved SQL compatibility with support for DDL Triggers, deferred name resolution, and logic control flow statements; and enhanced performance and operational capabilities. New table partition and storage group features can be used to improve data management and scale out storage performance. Additional SQL compatibility allows developers to use existing SQL code, tools and skills in order to streamline their efforts.“With this latest release, we not only address the immediate need for an elastic SQL database that can support and streamline application efforts, but we also provide a modern foundation for organizations transforming their infrastructure to support their business goals and competitive advantage as they move into the future,” Kassam said. NuoDB wants to help developers elastically scale out their cloud applications with the latest release of its SQL database. NuoDB 2.6 is designed to lower costs, improve availability, and support active-active database deployments and distributed storage.“The demand for cloud applications has never been higher as organizations rapidly modernize their infrastructure to keep pace with customer requirements,” said Ariff Kassam, vice president of products at NuoDB. “Traditional databases simply can’t handle the real-time data access and highly dynamic operational workloads that modern applications need. By their very nature, cloud applications need more scale, more elasticity, and more guarantees of performance and availability.”(Related: Testing lags in agile development shops)
Stack Overflow wants developers to be able to check their coding projects quickly and on the go, so the online programming community launched a new mobile application for both iOS and Android, allowing developers to view, answer, post and vote on Stack Overflow questions. Both operating system versions are available; however, the Android app is currently in beta. All of the functionality works but the team is making a few tweaks to the user interface, according to a Stack Overflow blog post.The Stack Overflow app not only lets developers read, ask, answer, comment, flag and vote on questions, but also draft questions on the go and get push notifications when someone answers or comments on a question. For developers that already have the Stack Exchange app, the Stack Overflow app has one key difference, and that is it contains Stack Overflow questions and answers. The existing Stack Exchange app and the Stack Overflow app will deliver notifications split in two, so all notifications will appear separately and delivered in their respective application. Besides announcing its new application, Stack Overflow decided to dig into the history of mobile app development by using its recently released Stack Overflow Trends tool, which lets them examine what mobile-related technologies have been growing or shrinking in developer activity. According to their findings, the notable shift for Android development started with the introduction of the Android Studio IDE in 2013, which became the most asked-about tags related to the platform, said Stack Overflow. While iOS and Android received a lot of traction among app developers, Blackberry and Windows phones lagged behind. Stack Overflow also wrote that there are several increasingly popular tools for developing cross-platform applications that are deployed on both Android and iOS. Another shift that Stack Overflow found interesting was between two back-end-as-a-service products used with applications, Firebase and Parse. According to a post by David Robinson, a data scientist at Stack Overflow, Facebook announced it was shutting down the Parse platform in 2016, and the questions on Parse within Stack Overflow dropped immediately. Later, Google launched an expanded version of the Firebase platform, and “the number of developers asking questions about it skyrocketed,” wrote Robinson.