Emotion recognition AI is a bunk.
Don’t get me wrong, AI that detects human feelings and emotions can be very useful. For example, it can be determined when the driver falls asleep behind the steering wheel. What it cannot do, however, is to recognize how a person actually feels through the expression on their face.
You don’t have to take my word for it, you can try it for yourself here.
Dovetail Labs, a scientific research and consultancy firm, recently created a website explaining how modern systems for detecting emotions build on deep learning work.
When companies do things like this, it’s usually about showing off their products so you can buy something from them. But this is where Dovetail Labs shows how awful emotion recognition is when it comes to recognizing human emotions.
If you’re a little reluctant to enable your webcam for access (or just don’t want to try it out yourself), take a look at the image for this article above. I assure you, the picture on the right is not my “sad” face, no matter what the AI says.
And that’s annoying because as far as the AI goes, I have a pretty easy-to-read face. But as Dovetail Labs explains in the video above, AI doesn’t actually read our faces.
Rather than understanding the wide range of human emotions and expressions, it basically reduces everything we do with our face to the AI equivalent of an emoji symbol.
And while it’s incredibly simple, it still suffers from the same prejudice as all facial recognition AI: emotion recognition systems are racist.
A recent study found that these systems read black men’s faces as angrier than white men’s faces, regardless of their expression.
This is a big deal for everyone. Businesses around the world use emotion recognition systems for attitudes, law enforcement agencies use them to profile potential threats, and they are even being developed for medical purposes.
If the detection of emotions in demographics does not work immediately, their use is harmful – even in so-called “human in the loop” scenarios.[Further reading: Why using AI to screen job applicants is almost always a bunch of crap]
Published on April 5, 2021 – 21:57 UTC