Chinese Companies Have Started Spying on the Brains of Their Employees to Monitor Their Emotions

Wednesday, 02 May 2018 - 12:21PM
Technology
Neuroscience
Wednesday, 02 May 2018 - 12:21PM
Chinese Companies Have Started Spying on the Brains of Their Employees to Monitor Their Emotions
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If you thought China's new initiative to assign every citizen a three-digit approval score based on their loyalty, hobbies, and social media posts was the beginning of a dystopian society, you haven't seen anything yet.

 

According to recent reports, workers are being issued hats and helmets mounted with electronic sensors that can sense their emotions while on the job and stream that data to their employers.



The report comes from the South China Morning Post, which claims that the sensors are being introduced to increase productivity and workplace efficiency.

 

Apparently, the technology uses artificial intelligence to process data from brainwave spikes in workers and sense whether they're feeling strong emotions, including negative ones such as rage.

 

The information is then sent to employers for monitoring and review.

 

Apart from that, there is little else known about how the technology works or how it's being used, though the potential implications a technology-driven surveillance state are clear.

 

According to Qiao Zhian, a professor at Beijing Normal University: "The selling of Facebook data is bad enough. Brain surveillance can take privacy abuse to a whole new level."



This isn't the only instance of new technologies threatening to violate the sanctity of our thoughts and private emotions, either.

 

A new device developed by the University of California can turn a person's thoughts into text in real time, while technology created by Dolby Labs can read your internal emotions even if your face and words don't reflect how you're feeling.

 

In the hands of a country like China, where political dissent is constantly being stamped out and individual privacy is slowly being eroded by new technology that turns people into numbers, breaking into someone's mind is going to be the Holy Grail for finding thoughtcrime.



For now, though, Chinese employers will have to be happy just watching their workers' psychographs.

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