Douglas Adams thought the idea ludicrous 30 years ago, and this version is no better
This sounds oddly reminiscent of a Douglas Adams interview I once read, that was given around *30* years ago:-
“[MIT] were showing me some research they were doing on video telephones. They reckoned that everybody has a number of people they regularly speak to on the telephone at your telephone you could have a small computer, storing video pictures of those people. When somebody rang you, a phonetic program would find the right picture and move the mouth in time with the words.
“They were very pleased with this [but] if you look at that logically you’ll see that this is not increasing communication — it is actually decreasing it.
“If you talk to somebody on the telephone your attention is concentrated on what they are saying. When you talk to somebody face to face or even on a television screen you get the message partly from their gestures and the expression on their face. But if you are seeing a picture which is not giving you any additional information the two impressions are totally contradictory.
“If someone rings up to say ‘Oh God, I’ve just gone bankrupt’ or ‘My wife’s run off' and you have this bright, smiling picture with the lips moving in an utterly grotesque way, it is not actually helping you to understand what the person is saying."
“The whole project is ludicrous and self-defeating but I couldn’t get the researchers at MIT to understand that.”
Now, this present-day equivalent is- in theory- attempting to match the mood of the person to the head. But in practice, it's still closer to Adams' ludicrous example above. It's applying a generic, pre-packed, pre-defined expression to the face that will convey none of the subtleties of *your* real expression and how that conveys your *actual* emotions. In short, it tells you nothing more than a single word or phrase covering your mood would.
In this way, despite its superficial improvement over MIT's early-80s example, it has *exactly* the same problem- it actually *decreases* communication by distracting from the content with misleading visual content.