Chinese school using facial recognition to analyze students' emotions


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When it comes to using facial recognition technology in surveillance systems, China leads the way. Now, one of the country’s high schools is utilizing the technology to monitor students’ facial expressions, letting teachers know what emotions the kids are experiencing.

The Hangzhou No. 11 Middle School is trialing the tech as part of its “Smart Classroom Behaviour Management System.” The three cameras placed above the blackboard analyze pupils by scanning them every 30 seconds and determining if they’re happy, confused, angry, surprised, fearful, or disgusted. They are also designed to log six types of student behaviors: reading, writing, hand raising, standing up, listening to the teacher, and leaning on the desk.

Hangzhou Network reports that the system can alert a teacher if a student’s attention level falls below a certain point. Not only can it be used as a teaching aid, but it’s also able to monitor class attendances by checking students’ faces against a database.

Unsurprisingly, the use of the cameras has raised privacy questions as they are recording minors, but school vice principle Zhang Guanchao says the images themselves are not saved and the results are stored on a local server instead of the cloud.

One student said the system was having the desired effect. “Beforehand in some classes that I didn’t like much, sometimes I would be lazy and do things like take naps on the desk or flick through other textbooks. Since the school has introduced these cameras, it is like there are a pair of mystery eyes constantly watching me, and I don’t dare let my mind wander.”

It’s not just pupils that the cameras are observing; they’re also being used to monitor the performance of teachers. The school claims this will help improve teaching techniques, though it’s unlikely that the educators (and pupils) will appreciate being continually watched.

China already has around 170 million CCTV cameras, with 400 million more arriving over the next three years. Many of these feature some form of AI, including facial recognition.

Last month saw facial recognition tech pick out a suspect from a crowd of 50,000 in China. And reports from earlier this year revealed that some of the country’s police have started using glasses with embedded facial scanning technology.

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Uncle Al

Posts: 7,601   +6,114
Overall it can have benefits, especially for teachers to indicate if the subject matter isn't interesting enough to hold the classes attention. On the flip side, it must be careful since people in learning situations can find themselves tuning in and out, especially in lecture situations. It would be interesting to see the results in a mono-tone lecture about basic chemistry ...... do they have an icon for comatose?


Posts: 2,061   +2,617
Cant wait to see how they tie this into their social credit system.

"Sho-Ping, your son was not attentive enough in 'Glorious Communist Revolution' class, your ability to travel out of your home region has been revoked."


Essentially Orwell's 'telescreen' w/o audio. Once they add that, the students can get a personal rebuke, then how long till 'thoughtcrime'?

"Sho-ping we noticed your disapproving expression during the 'Glorious Communist Revolution' class, you will be sent for 're-education' until your attitude improves.

from the article ".....Since the school has introduced these cameras, it is like there are a pair of mystery eyes constantly watching me, and I don’t dare let my mind wander.”

from another Techspot article: " Xiaolce is Microsoft's Chinese chatbot that has just recently achieved full duplex capabilities. The bot is able to listen to other callers, provide near real-time responses, and speak over the caller if an interjection is needed."
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Posts: 5,486   +3,586
The success of this in the long-term will be measured in whether it is used to help improve things, or to control.