• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

What happens when media technologies are able to interpret our feelings, emotions, moods, and intentions? In this cutting edge new book, Andrew McStay explores that very question and argues that these abilities result in a form of technological empathy. Offering a balanced and incisive overview of the issues raised by ‘Emotional AI’, this book: • Provides a clear account of the social benefits and drawbacks of new media trends and technologies such as emoji, wearables and chatbots • Demonstrates through empirical research how ‘empathic media’ have been developed and introduced both by start-ups and global tech corporations such as Facebook • Helps readers understand the potential implications on everyday life and social relations through examples such as video-gaming, facial coding, virtual reality and cities • Calls for a more critical approach to the rollout of emotional AI in public and private spheres Combining established theory with original analysis, this book will change the way students view, use and interact with new technologies. It should be required reading for students and researchers in media, communications, the social sciences and beyond.

Leaky Emotions: The Case of Facial Coding
Leaky Emotions: The Case of Facial Coding

In Chapter 2 I introduced Guillaume-Benjamin-Amand Duchenne de Boulogne, the 19th-century neurologist who used electrodes to stimulate facial muscles to create the appearance of emotions. In doing so Duchenne codified a wide range of facial expressions by detailing the muscles that contribute to named expressions. Today, computers attribute pixels to facial features to register emotional behaviour. This includes faces from camera feeds, recorded video files and photos. To account for facial coding this chapter details the psychological suppositions behind the technique, industrial applications and criticisms of the method. I focus on problems associated with what I argue to be a biomedical ‘leak-based’ account of emotional life.

What is most notable about facial ...

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