“The Creepy Study” – Surveillance Cameras Analyze Emotions

facialrecognitionsBy Nicholas West

By now, nearly everyone is familiar with just how massive the State surveillance apparatus has become. The question is no longer about whether or not we are under surveillance, but how much further will the intrusion expand.

As facial recognition technology becomes more sophisticated, and the ease of camera and sensor installation makes all barriers to entry a non-issue, we are beginning to see the advent of real-time tracking that is looking for emotion as well as our data.

This concept recently went to outrageous lengths when it was uncovered that politicians across the world are already using facial recognition embedded in billboards to judge and manipulate the emotions of those who visually respond to the message displayed.  It even has its own branch of study: neuropolitics.

The word “creepy” has become an overused catch-all that actually does a disservice to what is being employed – kind of a nervous laughter reaction to the reality of completely losing one’s privacy and freedom to engage in natural behavior without being tracked and judged for it. Nevertheless, a new program at the University of Iowa actually has been informally – but officially – labeled as “The Creepy Study.” Let it not be said that the people in charge of implementing these technologies don’t know what they are up to.

Tucked into the white ceiling tiles, the ceiling camera he (Bill Hedgcock, Associate Professor of Marketing) had installed at the Pappajohn Business Building at the University of Iowa scans the faces of all who pass under it and instantly calculates their moods — collecting readings for joy, frustration, confusion, fear, anger and sadness.

Hedgcock believes the University of Iowa is the world’s only business school with this kind of real-time software that converts images of people’s faces into readings for different moods. If it works, experts see huge potential for facial encoding in the worlds of marketing, advertising and political campaigns. (emphasis added)

Here is a perfect example of why creepy doesn’t encapsulate what this really is.  What it really is, is using students as guinea pigs in an experiment to eradicate privacy and monetize human beings, while convincing the students that they are positioning themselves to be leaders in a new industry that is built on the manipulation of human behavior. That’s not creepy, that’s a technocratic takeover.

Naturally, there are privacy assurances that the system just spits out raw data and does not assign an actual human name to what is being collected, but I think we are done with believing that as leak after leak, government and private, has told us that no data is currently safe or private.

For now, the system is claiming no more than a 35% accuracy rate, as most of what is observed is being categorized as “neutral” emotion.

But the final statements from Dan Hill (president of one company working with this tech) and Professor Hedgcock about what is intended, is an open admission that manipulation is the end goal and there is no remorse about it. Emphasis added:

“I think it’s a good application because politics is very emotional,” Hill said. “There are a lot of so-called independents who really tilt one way or the other, but they like the idea that they’re independent.”

Hedgcock says political strategists are already interested in neuromarketing, the marketing field that uses measurements of the human body — brain scans, respiratory rates and changes in the skin — to measure a consumer’s reaction.

But not many campaigns are interested in talking publicly about those ideas, Hedgcock says, because they can be viewed as too Big Brotherly or manipulative.

For now, the professor is putting aside any concerns about the “creepy” factor.

“Every academic I know in this area of neuromarketing would say the last thing we need to worry about is over manipulating, he said. “The bigger concern is does it even work?”

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Nicholas West writes for ActivistPost.com. This article may be freely shared in part or in full with author attribution and source link.

  • Hp B

    And soon it will be robots/androids taking our orders .. or maybe the other way around..

  • littljo

    let’s keep in mind that all data can and or has been or will be manipulated.
    they (polcie,nsa,cia,fbi,fema,tsa,et;al) can certainly plant various data bits/files/programs and make you look like a total scumbag.

  • gannaped

    I look forward to their ability to register the emotion: “F**k You!”

    • Tom kauser

      Reenforced by gesture file #1

      • Common Sense

        I see you study the art of self defeat.
        The herd now censors itself.

        • MYwhitebicycle

          Don’t understand – what point are you trying to make?

  • Common Sense

    So the main question is, “how much further will the intrusion expand”
    I know the answer to that one. The intrusions and all other infractions against the people will keep going until they are completely subdued or are eliminated, but it doesn’t stop there. NO.
    This cancer is like rust and all it knows is to CONSUME. It will then turn on those who wield it.
    They will become a victim of their own evil.
    History has proven this over and over but we still seem to have a learning disability in spite of all the historical data.
    We have always allowed sick and greedy people to rise above us and do severe damage until we act out of self preservation. I could understand if this was the first time but seriously, I think I would lose count of the tyrants who have been allowed by the people to rise.
    A nation of sheep will always bring about a government of wolves.
    A people deserve any regime they endure.
    You teach people how to treat you. If you act like a doormat, expect to get stepped on.

    • Tom kauser

      Torches and pitchforks going to Columbus Ohio ( milk came out my nose) RESEARCH WHAT YOUR GOING UP AGAINST and than decide to NOT GO ALONG BMI king avenue!

      • Common Sense

        By way of the truth, I while living, have conquered the universe.
        So you think you are getting out of this life ALIVE?
        I’ve shed my fear. How about you?

  • Tom kauser

    Wait til the camera on the light pole starts flying around random cars at the red light.
    Thank you BATTELLE for creepy studies and mad scientists .

    • Common Sense

      Skeet shoot.
      Problem solved, but YOU have the right to continue living in fear.

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