Chinese school uses facial recognition to scan attention levels

Signal of change / Chinese school uses facial recognition to scan attention levels

By George Harding-Rolls / 12 Jun 2018

We all have memories of absent mindededly drifting off into day dreams in class, or making faces behind the teacher's back. But in one school in Hangzhou, China, this is set to be a thing of the past, with the introduction of facial recognition software which scans students' faces every 30 seconds. The technology can differentiate emotions to analyse whether pupils are angry, confused or happy, or if they're raising a hand, writing or sleeping at their desks.

There's no escape for slacking students; the software sends notifcations to the teacher about students attention levels, so they really can have eyes in the back of their head.

So what?

This latest intrusion of software is part of a growing trend of surveillance in China. It is used to predict crime, catch jaywalkers, scan faces at hotel check-in and airport security. With the ominous social credit system also being trialed in China, what could a future look like for Chinese systems where your behaviour is not only intimately tracked, but also directly affects your access to services? Privacy is obviously also a major concern, but there are also wider implications about personal freedom and the mental health effects on students growing up watched from all corners. 



What might the implications of this be? What related signals of change have you seen?

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