I’m not talking about little smiley faces :^( ,,, but how automation can evaluate your emotions, and as is the trend of this blog – how that information may be abused.
Your image is rather public. From your Facebook page, to the pictures posted from that wedding you were at, to the myriad of cameras capturing data in every store, street corner, ATM machine, etc. And, as you (should) know, facial recognition is already there to connect your name to that face. Your image can also be used to evaluate your emotions, automatically with tools described in a recent Wall St Journal article (The Technology That Unmasks Your Hidden Emotions.) These tools can be used in real time as well as evaluation of static images.
So wandering though the store, it may be that those cameras are not just picking up shop-lifters, but lifting shopper responses to displays, products and other aspects of the store. Having identified you (via facial recognition, or the RFID constellation you carry) the store can correlate your personal response to specific items. The next email you get may be promoting something you liked when you were at the store, or an well researched-in-near-real-time evaluation of what ‘persons like you’ seem to like.
The same type of analysis can be used analysing and responding to your responses in some political context — candidate preferences, messages that seem to be effective. Note, this is no longer the ‘applause-meter’ model to decide how the audience responds, but personalized to you, as a face-recognized person observing that event. With cameras getting images though front windshields posted on political posters/billboards it may be possible to collect this data on a very wide basis, not just for those who chose to attend an event.
Another use of real time emotional tracking could play out in situations such as interviews, interrogations, sales show rooms, etc. The person conducting the situation may be getting feedback from automated analysis that informs the direction they lead the interaction. The result might be a job offer, arrest warrant or focused sales pitch in these particular cases.
The body-language of lying is also being translated. Presumably a next step here is for automated analysis of your interactions. For those of us who never, ever lie, that may not be a problem. And of course, being a resident of New Hampshire where the 2016 presidential season has officially opened, it would be nice to have some of these tools in the hands of the citizens as we seek to narrow down the field of candidates.