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Your Future iPhone Might Know How You Are Feeling Apple just bought Emotient, a San Diego-based artificial intelligence startup.

By Catherine Clifford

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Everything you do online is tracked. But what if companies were to know not only what you look at online, but also how you feel about it?

That's the next generation of computer data analytics. And if a recent Apple acquisition is any indication, a future generation of your iPhone may be capable of just that.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based tech giant has reportedly scooped up San Diego-based artificial intelligence startup Emotient, which analyzes facial expressions to determine a person's emotions.

The acquisition was confirmed to the Wall Street Journal, though terms of the deal were not.

Related: Apple Is Quietly Creating a New Indoor Mapping System

Apple did not immediately respond to Entrepreneur's request for comment.

What's the value in being able to register a user's feelings? From a business perspective, knowing what your customers think about an advertisement, a product or a story allows a company to adjust that piece of content so that customers like it better. That, in theory, will drive consumers to spend more and companies to make more money.

This isn't the first artificial intelligence startup that Apple has scooped up recently. In October, the company bought VocalIQ, a U.K.-based startup that aims to make it possible for people to speak with their computer devices.

Related: Apple's Latest Experiment Means You May Never Have to Listen to Your Voicemails Again
Catherine Clifford

Senior Entrepreneurship Writer at CNBC

Catherine Clifford is senior entrepreneurship writer at CNBC. She was formerly a senior writer at Entrepreneur.com, the small business reporter at CNNMoney and an assistant in the New York bureau for CNN. Clifford attended Columbia University where she earned a bachelor's degree. She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. You can follow her on Twitter at @CatClifford.

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