Emotion Reading Technology Can Spot Criminals Before They Act

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Pre-crime analysis is a holy grail of surveillance technology, but it is fraught with social and ethical problems. Technocrats build these systems because it is a pre-requisite for Technocracy and also just because they can. All ethical discussion is swept aside.  TN Editor

Emotion reading technology could soon be used by police after a Russian firm created a tool that can identify people in a crowd and tell if they are angry, stressed or nervous.

The software, created by NTechLab, can monitor citizens for suspicious behaviour by tracking identity, age, gender and current emotional state. It could be used to pre-emptively stop criminals and potential terrorists.

“The recognition gives a new level of security in the street because in a couple of seconds you can identify terrorists or criminals or killers,” said Alexander Kabakov, NTechLab chief executive.

The emotion recognition tool is a new part of NTechLab’s facial recognition software, which made the headlines last year when it was used to power the FindFace app that can track down anyone on Russian social network VKontakte from a photo.

The identification app claims to have reconnected long-lost friends and family members, as well as helped police solve two cold cases and identify criminals.

Adding the emotion element, which has an accuracy rate of more than 94 per cent according to the company, could give the software real-time crime fighting capabilities.

NTechLab retains an aura of secrecy around its clients, which include security firms and retail businesses. But it is reportedly working with Moscow city government to add the recognition software to the capital’s 150,000 CCTV cameras.

The company refused to comment on where the technology is being applied. “The use case mentioned is generally for CCTV cameras and there’s nothing confirmed with Moscow,” it said.

Kabakov said he doesn’t see any privacy problems resulting from the technology as it will be added to existing security systems and cameras.

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