An AI program reads facial expressions and brain waves to ‘discern the level of acceptance for ideological and political education’
Chinese researchers claimed in a now-deleted post on Weibo that the AI software can measure reactions of party members to “thought and political education” by analysing their facial expressions and brain waves.
“This equipment is a kind of smart ideology, using AI technology to extract and integrate facial expressions, EEG readings and skin conductivity,” according to a translation of the posts by Radio Free Asia.
Chinese scientists claimed the technology made it possible to “ascertain the levels of concentration, recognition and mastery of ideological and political education so as to better understand its effectiveness”.
In a now-deleted video, the institute claimed the “mind-reading” software could be used on party members to “further solidify their determination to be grateful to the party, listen to the party and follow the party”.
However, the post was taken down following outcry from citizens on the internet.
The equipment was reportedly tested by reading the brain waves and by conducting facial scans of party members as they read articles about the Communist Party, measures that were then converted to a loyalty “score.”
While there isn’t a published peer-reviewed study on the experiment to validate the institute’s claims, Lance B Eliot, an AI and machine learning expert, wrote in Forbes last week that “when such AI is used for governmental control, a red line has been crossed”.
“One supposes that if your face doesn’t seem to suggest you are sufficiently loyal, or if the brainwave scan suggests the same, governmental thugs might suddenly rush up and grab ahold of you. Unnerving. Abysmal. Must not be allowed,” Dr Eliot wrote.
This isn’t the first time Chinese scientists have claimed to build a “mind-reading” device.
Last month, the South China Morning Post reported that scientists in the country developed a device that could detect when a man is watching pornography by “reading his mind”.
The prototype device, described in the Journal of Electronic Measurement and Instrumentation, would reportedly assist Chinese internet censors by detecting the brainwaves triggered by lewd content.
Last year, China had been testing facial recognition and AI camera systems on Uighur Muslims in the Xinjiang region to detect their emotions, according to the BBC News.
A software engineer who chose to remain anonymous had said they installed these systems in police stations in the region, adding that they worked “similar to a lie detector but with far more advanced technology”.