As AI-powered software that can identify human emotions becomes more common, a new browser game wants to illustrate the limits of technology. Spotted by , the Emojify project was created by a University of Cambridge professor Alexa Hagerty. You will find it again. It will ask you to look at your computer’s webcam and try to produce six different emotions: happiness, sadness, fear, surprise, disgust and anger. When you play the game, you will notice that it is easy to fool the software. For example, you can fake a smile to fool it into thinking you are happy. Ultimately, that’s the point of the experience.
What the game tries to do is that there is often a connection between the emotions we experience internally and the face we show the world. Think, for example, when someone cries. In most situations, they do it because they are sad, but people are also known to shed tears of joy. People are messy and complicated, and we all experience emotions differently. To suggest that it is possible to distill how we feel at any given moment in a simple set of emojis does none of us a favor. As with, there is also the problem of race bias. One found that programs like Face ++ typically rate the faces of black men as angrier and unhappier than their white counterparts, regardless of the actual expression on the screen.
And yet, technology is becoming more and more common. It’s not just something you see anymore. Organizations and governments use it for everything from screening to security. Even Apple in space at some point. By pointing out the shortcomings of emotion recognition software, the project hopes to spark a conversation about its use. “Our goal is to promote public understanding of these technologies and citizens’ commitment to their development and use,” the group said. “We believe that through collective intelligence and the sharing of perspectives on such important issues, we can enable society to promote a just and just society.”