Techart Conference

| 2022 TechArt Conference | 


Session 2: Algorithmic Culture and Sense-Making

In-to-me-see? Sensing through Emotional AI

McStay, Andrew (Bangor University, UK) 


Drawing on past and ongoing work, this talk will consider the social trajectory of technologies that pertain to gauge and interact with human emotion.

With hitherto unseen attention from policymakers and civil society groups, emotional AI is now high on human rights and data protection agendas. To explore this, the talk will introduce technologies that function in relation to human emotion and other intimate and interior parts of human life. It will then progress to consider key use cases and what McStay sees to be a net rise of mediated interest in emotional life and subjectivity. Through principally biometric proxies, this is observed to be significant for emergent temporalities. In addition to diagnosis of philosophical and ontological character is need to consider material consequences. These are argued to be wide-ranging, encompassing factors such as privacy, freedom of thought, positioned in reference to a larger taxonomy of harms to be avoided. The talk progress to focus on ethics, governance, social acceptability, and work at the Emotional AI Lab that assesses quantitative and qualitative UK citizen perspectives of emotion and other affect-sensitive applications. Insights will draw on empirical work on uses of such systems in toys, education, cars, advertising, political campaigning, workplaces, and security, as well as cross-cultural factors with a focus on Japan and the UK.


Andrew McStay is Professor of Digital Life at Bangor University, UK. His most recent book for Sage, Emotional AI: The Rise of Empathic Media, examines the impact of technologies that make use of data about affective and emotional life. Director of The Emotional AI Lab, current projects include cross-cultural social analysis of emotional AI in UK and Japan. His forthcoming book is titled Automated Empathy for Oxford University Press.