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Facial recognition technology has progressed to point where it now interprets emotions in facial expressions.
This type of analysis is increasingly used in daily life. For example, companies can use facial recognition software to help with hiring decisions.
Programs - Crowds - Threats - Safety
Other programs scan the faces in crowds to identify threats to public safety.
Unfortunately, this technology struggles to interpret the emotions of black faces. My new study, published last month, shows that emotional analysis technology assigns more negative emotions to black men’s faces than white men’s faces.
Time - Recognition - Programs - Google - Gorillas
This isn’t the first time that facial recognition programs have been shown to be biased. Google labeled black faces as gorillas.
Cameras identified Asian faces as blinking. Facial recognition programs struggled to correctly identify gender for people with darker skin.
Work - Call - Hidden - Bias - Intelligence
My work contributes to a growing call to better understand the hidden bias in artificial intelligence software.
To examine the bias in the facial recognition systems that analyze people’s emotions, I used a data set of 400 NBA player photos from the 2016 to 2017 season, because players are similar in their clothing, athleticism, age and gender.
Portraits - Players - Camera - Picture
Also, since these are professional portraits, the players look at the camera in the picture.
I ran the images through two well-known types of emotional recognition software. Both assigned black players more negative emotional scores on average, no matter how much they smiled.
Example - Official - NBA - Pictures - Darren
For example, consider the official NBA pictures of Darren Collison and Gordon Hayward.
Both players are smiling, and, according to the facial recognition and analysis program Face++, Darren Collison and Gordon Hayward have similar smile scores – 48.7 and 48.1 out of 100, respectively.
Face++ - Rates - Hayward - Expression - Percent
However, Face++ rates Hayward’s expression as 59.7 percent happy and 0.13 percent angry and Collison’s expression as 39.2 percent happy and 27 percent angry.
Collison is viewed as nearly as angry as he is happy and far angrier...
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