Computers don't have emotions. What they can, is to only imitate or mimic them.
Humans know that very well. So instead of giving them emotions, which is impossible, researchers try to make computers understand emotions. Researchers think that by making computers capable of recognizing human sentiments and emotions, can be very useful.
For example, the ability can allow computers to identify when drivers are falling asleep while driving.
Or, it may be useful to help the authorities to detect whether a person is lying or not, profile potential threats, and potentially many others.
But things however, are easier said than done.
Making computers to understand human emotions is more than just a hard work.
This is because computers cannot discern how a human being is actually feeling by the expression on their face alone.
Dovetail Labs, a scientific research and consultancy company, created the Emojify.info website to explain how modern “emotion recognition” systems built on deep learning work.
Typically, companies create this kind of project in order to show off their products so people will buy them. But not here. Dovetail Labs created the website to demonstrate how awful emotion recognition AI is at recognizing human emotion.
On the website, visitors are asked to turn on their webcam so the AI can have an access to their faces.
As far as AI is concerned, Dovetail Labs explained that AI in trying to understand human emotion, doesn't really read human face.
Instead, the AI will basically reduce whatever unnecessary information from its view, to perceive human face as an equivalent to an emoji symbol.
This makes its ability to understand human emotion to be very basic and can be next to useless in real-life scenarios and usage.
Making things worse, the emotion recognition AI also suffers from the same biases as all facial recognition AI. And that is racism.
According to the researcher, "a recent study has shown that these systems read the faces of Black men as more angry than the faces of White men, no matter what their expression."
This can be a serious issue.
First, White people dominate the U.S. and European countries. Despite their huge numbers, the ethnic group is far from the largest in population. The largest, being the Han Chinese ethnicity with more than 1 billion people, far surpassed any ethnicity in the world.
Second, AI is being used by many companies across the world. Many companies use face recognition to recognize the faces of people, and also emotion recognition in their hiring process, detect potential threats and more.
With the bias, emotion recognition AI can be damaging as it is harmful.