China has been ramping up surveillance known as “emotion recognition technology” in order to monitor human feelings — and help them with law enforcement, according to reports.
Emotion recognition technology tracks traits such as facial muscle movements, vocal tone and body movements in order to infer a person’s feelings, the state-run Global Times reported.
“Emotion recognition is definitely the direction of humanity’s future tech development,” Ma Qingguo, who is head of the Academy of Neuroeconomics and Neuromanagement at Ningbo University, told the outlet.
Some Chinese experts boast that the new technology is up to 95 percent accurate at detecting people’s emotions.
The cutting-edge tool is increasingly being used in various fields including health, anti-terrorism, and urban security, sources told the outlet.
For example, the artificial intelligence system can monitor occupants of cars passing through a busy intersection, state media reported.
Security officers then might stop a vehicle in which a passengers appear nervous to search the vehicle for drugs, the report said.
Chen Wei — who is a general manager at Taigusys, a company specializing in the technology — said that tool also has the capability to predict dangerous behavior from prisoners, problem students in schools and elderly people experiencing dementia in nursing homes, the Guardian reported.
“Ordinary people here in China aren’t happy about this technology but they have no choice,” Chen told the outlet.
“If the police say there have to be cameras in a community, people will just have to live with it. There’s always that demand and we’re here to fulfill it.”
Chen said Taigusys systems are already been installed in about 300 prisons, detention centers and jails around the country, connecting 60,000 cameras.
He said the existence alone of the systems has an impact on prisoner behavior.
“Because they know what the system does, they won’t consciously try to violate certain rules,” he said.