If audio tech company Dolby Laboratories has its way, humans will be more transparent than ever before thanks to a combination of new technology that combines artificial intelligence (AI) and sensors.
The new system uses sensors to track the micro-movements of a person’s face — such as eye dilation and increased skin temperature — to determine if a person is lying, infatuated or on the brink of becoming violent.
"We broadcast our emotions. We will know more about each other than we ever have," said Dolby Laboratories Chief Scientist Poppy Crum.
A combination of these micro-movements and the chemicals released in a person’s breathing can reveal, according to researchers, “hidden” feelings. The sensors combined with AI work together to read those cues and analyzes patterns in the context of feelings.
Acknowledging that the technology might make humans more empathetic based on being able to more accurately “read” others while also potentially leading to manipulation and emotional abuse, Crum said, "It is really scary on one level, but on another level it is really powerful. We can bridge the emotional divide."
Crum envisions that the technology could be potentially lifesaving in settings such as schools where school officials might be better equipped to detect when a student is struggling with depression or mental illness.
"I realize a lot of people are having a hard time with people sharing our data, or knowing something we didn't want to share," Crum said. "I am not looking to create a world where our inner lives are ripped open, but I am looking to create a world where we can care about each other more effectively."
On the other hand, speaking to the potential for malicious and manipulative behavior, Crum said: "It is something people need to realize is here and is going to happen; so let's make it happen in a way we have control over."
"We will be able to know more about each other than we ever have. Let's use that for the right reasons rather than the wrong ones."