Face Recognition makes EVERYBODY happy


Really everybody.

Facial-recognition technology simply compares faces to determine a match, and we know that it can have… unexpected consequences.

But never mind it, it’s old stuff now.

If you don’t believe me, consider these two passages:

“Emotion-recognition technologies are supposedly able to infer one’s feelings based on traits such as facial muscle movements, vocal tone, body movements and other biometric signals.”

“[With software] capable of recognising distress in faces… If they are not happy and not eating well, in some cases, you can predict whether one is sick.”

They say basically the same thing, don’t they? That is, “using software to automatically detect, from raw physical appearance, if someone is happy or not, and act accordingly”

Problem is, the first quote is about how to help HUMAN PRISONERS to not feel angry or sad. The second, instead,

Face Recognition makes EVERYBODY happy /img/pig-faces.jpg

is about how to keep PIGS healthier in automated factories

And don’t say “Of course, it’s China!”

The only important things that may be different in those two stories is priorities, and different industrialization stories. In the current system, the probability that both systems become the standard anywhere is pretty high.

In both cases, however, we have:

  • purely automatic monitoring of “feelings”, that is non-purely physical “parameters”, that eventually influences them, with long-term consequences that will be very interesting to observe
  • even more influence of power and/or money, since only states or farms with plenty of resources will be able to catch both the negative and positive consequences of this “face recognition for happyness” stuff
  • Undisputable potential for good, e.g. in the pigs case “certainly more humane than traditional methods”, but also…
  • a very high risk, in the current system, that that it is not used, and does not solve any really critical problem anyway

What about, for example…

Things like the abuses of face recognition that discriminate, or send people to prison all too easily? What about prison management software whose profits depend on the number of inmates? Or the fact that raising billions of pigs or any other animal with the same techniques, has serious health and environmental consequences, no matter how happy those anymals are?

None of these problems would disappear if pigs, or inmates, were “helped to be happier” by face scans.

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