Thursday, June 29, 2017

People Don't Like Machines Detecting Emotions and What a Surprise #Science

Tech firms want to detect your emotions and expressions, but people don’t like it. 

Credit: Sergey Nivens

Note:  the pic is not exactly Pink Floyd but roll with it.

As revealed in a patent filing, Facebook is interested in using webcams and smartphone cameras to read our emotions, and track expressions and reactions. The idea is that by understanding emotional behaviour, Facebook can show us more of what we react positively to in our Facebook news feeds and less of what we do not – whether that's friends' holiday photos, or advertisements.

This might appear innocuous, but consider some of the detail. In addition to smiles, joy, amazement, surprise, humour and excitement, the patent also lists negative emotions. Possibly being read for signs of disappointment, confusion, indifference, boredom, anger, pain and depression is neither innocent, nor fun.

In fact, Facebook is no stranger to using data about emotions. Some readers might remember the furore when Facebook secretly tweaked user's news feeds to understand "emotional contagion". This meant that when users logged into their Facebook pages, some were shown content in their news feeds with a greater number of positive words and others were shown content deemed as sadder than average. This changed the emotional behaviour of those users that were "infected".

Given that Facebook has around two billion users, this patent to read emotions via cameras is important. But there is a bigger story, which is that the largest technology companies have been buying, researching and developing these applications for some time.  Tech firms want to detect emotions and expressions, but people don't like it

You get the gen already and had it long before you read this.  This technology is invasive and we not only don't like it, we fuckin' hate it.

We don't liked to be 'figured out,' do we.  If we say we have someone 'figured out' then that means the person is an easy mark or a gull, right?  We really, really don't like being figured out and we particularly don't want to be gulls so Facebook gets us riled just by the idea of it.

Note:  the Rockhouse really doesn't get riled since we see things of this nature and think, well, gee, look at what the li'l cupcakes did this time.

What do we do when SIRI asks if she can help?  Right, we send her thirty amps of DC love, don't we, my brothers and sisters.

Note:  I keep asking her what color a chameleon turns when you put it on a mirror but she just flips out and starts spewing recipes for chocolate chip cookies.  Go away, SIRI.

Note:  stolen from Steven Wright, best deadpan comedian evah, and adapted for the Emotive Age.

SIRI wants to figure us out too ... everyone wants to watch us and figure us out ... rant, rant, rant.

Nah, we don't just hate it, we want to stick it with pitchforks and throw it into a fire.  Get outta town with your invasive ways.

Apple is in this as well for emotive tech and the Rockhouse is happy to diversify to include Apple with Facebook in the category of Patently Loathsome Technological Endeavors.  They have become so obsessed with figuring us out, they lost track of how to do that for themselves.

Apple:  you mean we have just been hustling voodoo all this time?

Yep ... but ... don't worry.  So long as there's Facebook, you will never run out of customers.

Oh, you're not believing it's voodoo?

I found that more than half (50.6%) of UK citizens are "not OK" with any form of emotion capture technology, while just under a third (30.6%) feel "OK" with it, as long as the emotion-sensitive application does not identify the individual. A mere 8.2% are "OK" with having data about their emotions connected with personally identifiable information, while 10.4% "don't know". That such a small proportion are happy for emotion-recognition data to be connected with personally identifying information about them is pretty significant considering what Facebook is proposing.

- PO

The Rockhouse stays far away from Voodoo but we strongly suspect there's greater acceptance of Voodoo than there may be for intrusive software of this nature.

Watson:  Facebook wants a political tool more than more snaky commercial apparatus.

They want both, mate.

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