Zoom AI emotion recognition plan draws human rights fire 

Occurred: April 2022

Plans by Zoom to develop an AI-based system that will monitor and detect the feelings and emotions of its users drew fire from US human and digital rights campaigners, ACLU, EPIC, Fight for the Future, and others.

According to an April 2022 report by Protocol, Zoom plans to introduce a suite of new features under the name Zoom IQ for Sales that use emotion AI to produce post-meeting transcripts and sentiment analysis to meeting hosts.

However, critics of emotion AI (or 'affective computing') argue the technology is often inaccurate as a person's facial expressions can be different to what they are feeling. 

It can also be discriminatory, with research showing the ways people express emotions vary significantly across cultures and situations. 

The technology is also said to be intrusive and easily misused. 

Operator: Zoom Video Communications
Developer: Zoom Video Communications
Country: USA
Sector: Business/professional services
Purpose: Monitor & analyse emotion
Technology: Emotion recognition; Facial analysis; Voice recognition; NLP/text analysis
Issue: Accuracy/reliability; Bias/discrimination - race, ethnicity, disability; Dual/multi-use; Privacy; Surveillance
Transparency: Black box

Research, advocacy 🧮

Page info
Type: Incident
Published: April 2022
Last updated: May 2022