China is infamous for setting up surveillance systems to keep an eye on its citizens. Taking the surveillance one notch up, the country is now installing a surveillance system that is capable of detecting emotions.
In a recent tech expo organized in Shenzhen, several companies displayed surveillance systems that can detect criminals using machine learning and artificial intelligence.
A report from Financial Times says that the surveillance system with an emotional recognition feature is already being installed in the Xinjiang region of China. This part of China is home to over one million Muslims that are being held in internment camps. China deploys most of its surveillance systems in this region for testing purposes.
According to Li Xiaoyu, a policing expert from Xinjiang says, “using video footage, emotion recognition can rapidly identify criminal suspects by analyzing their mental state… to prevent illegal acts including terrorism and smuggling.”
However, many security researchers have doubts about the possibility of detecting emotions from facial features. Studies have shown that linking facial recognition features to emotions “regardless of context, person, and culture” is next to impossible.
On a positive note, the surveillance system that can detect human emotions isn’t ready yet for mass deployment and has been termed “gimmick” by many.