Emotion recognition technology should be banned, says an AI research institute

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They said it “should be banned from making certain decisions that impact people’s lives because it is not yet very accurate.” The headline is somewhat misleading. Edit for a typo.


Is all this AI technology primarily going to be used with a cell phone?


As soon as we are sure this is being used, I am inventing a device called a face mask for citizens to wear that obscures the face 😃


Note that this report isn’t (at least explicitly) suggesting that all affect-recognition technology should be banned forever; it’s more a statement that even the current state-of-the-art in this area “lacks any solid scientific foundation to ensure accurate or even valid results”, which is a major problem given how widely it is being deployed and the importance of the current applications to people’s lives (relevant sections on pp. 12, 50-52). Personally, I agree that such technologies shouldn’t be used to determine, e.g., who gets hired, given their very weak accuracy and tendency to produce results biased against certain groups of people. I don’t think that scientific research in affect recognition as a whole should be stopped, and the report doesn’t suggest that it should be. It’s quite possible that a much more scientifically-solid approach could have value in the future, though there are of course plenty of ethical questions about whether this is worth the cost of the problematic ways in which it will inevitably be used.


Broadly speaking, we’re going to need some very specific and strong and actionable laws against all versions of facial and body recognition, and we’re going to need it sooner rather than later. I’m all for a 100% ban. I don’t even want technology that can recognize *that I never have a face* to exist. That’s already too far for me, and at least here in the US, law enforcement can already hold your phone up to your face and have it unlock and then browse the device, which is absolutely just awful. That’s just asking for them to find a cause for a stop after unlawfully stopping someone. I don’t want any of that. It should all be gone. But if it doesn’t go, we need very strong rules about what can and cannot be done.