Machine Vision
Online seminar

Apertures #5: Alexa Hagerty, Shazeda Ahmed & Vidushi Marda

The "Machine Vision in Everyday Life" research project welcomes Alexa Hagerty, Shazeda Ahmed and Vidushi Marda to discuss emotion recognition technologies.

portrait photos of Alexa Hagerty, Shazeda Ahmed, Vidushi Marda
Alexa Hagerty, Shazeda Ahmed, Vidushi Marda


The proliferation of biometric identification systems powered by machine learning has propelled a new wave of products that claim to detect and interpret the emotional states of human subjects by monitoring a variety of data signals including speech patterns, voice intonation, facial expressions, posture, and even bodily vibrations. From classrooms and online meetings to factory floors and job interviews, emotion recognition systems promise to quantify attention, concentration, tiredness or stress, and to detect suspicious attitudes or criminal intent in real time. How is emotion recognition being deployed in societies across the globe, and how should we confront its doubtful claims?

Apertures is a series of seminars organized by the Machine Vision in Everyday Life research project. This 90-minute video seminar features short talks by three researchers studying emotion recognition technologies, followed by a discussion between presenters, the research project team, and the audience.

Alexa Hagerty introduces the Emojify project, which aims at opening up conversations about emotion recognition systems and their social impacts to the public. Alexa Hagerty is an anthropologist and scholar of science, technology and society studies (STS) at the University of Cambridge, Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence and Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, as well as founder and co-director of Dovetail Labs.

Shazeda Ahmed and Vidushi Marda present their recently published report “Emotional Entanglement: China’s emotion recognition market and its implications for human rights”, which surveys how emotion recognition technologies are developed, marketed and deployed in China. Shazeda Ahmed is a doctoral candidate at the University of California at Berkeley’s School of Information and a Visiting Scholar at the AI Now Institute. Vidushi Marda is a lawyer and researcher, currently Senior Programme Officer at Article 19 and Affiliate Researcher at Carnegie India.

Poster for the "Apertures #5" event
Gabriele de Seta