Zoom’s AI tech to detect emotion during calls upsets critics

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Zoom has begun developing artificial intelligence technology that can scan users’ faces and speech to determine their emotions, which was first reported by Protocol.

Although this technology still appears to be in its early stages of development and implementation, several human rights groups anticipate that it could be used for more discriminatory purposes and are urging Zoom to move away from this. practice.

A woman on a Zoom call.

Currently, Zoom has detailed plans to use AI technology in a sales and training protocol. In a blog post Shared last month, Zoom explained how its “Zoom IQ” concept works to help salespeople determine the emotions of people they are communicating with to improve their pitches.

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The blog notes that Zoom IQ tracks metrics such as talk-to-listen ratio, talk speed, monologue, patience, engaging questions, next steps, escalation, sentiment, and engagement.

Zoom also noted on its blog that the data it collects is “for informational purposes and may contain inaccuracies.”

“The results are not intended to be used for employment decisions or other comparable decisions. All recommended ranges for measurements are based on publicly available research,” the company added.

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Nonetheless, more than 25 rights groups sent a joint letter to Zoom CEO Eric Yuan on Wednesday urging the company to halt any further research into emotion-based artificial intelligence that could have unfortunate consequences for people. disadvantaged people. Some of these groups include Access Now, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and the Muslim Justice League.

The deputy director of the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy and Technology Project, Esha Bhandari, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation that emotional AI is “unwanted science” and “scary technology”.

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Beyond Zoom’s initial note in its April blog post, the company has yet to respond to this criticism, which began as early as last week.

We’ve recently seen brands like DuckDuckGo take on Google in the name of privacy. After claiming to get rid of invasive cookies, on web browsers, Google has essentially replaced them with technology that can track and similarly collect user data.

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