New Topics in Social Computing: Emotional labor and affective computing
This discussion will consider topics related to what MIT professor Rosalind Picard calls “affective computing,” emotion recognition in artificial intelligence and the use of technology to simulate empathy or respond to mood. Sensors in automobiles might respond to a stressed out driver with softer light or upbeat music. Commercial surveillance applications increasingly measure facial movements to profile the reactions of customers. Meanwhile data is collected on social networks for engineering relationships. A team of social media researchers recently proposed an “early breakup warning system” for Twitter that is possible with just public availably data. Affective computing is automating the largely undervalued and often gendered work known as “emotional labor.” A nanny, waitress, community manager, journalist, administrator assistant, or counselor is subject to the fallacious conflation of “doing what she loves” and labor, and therefore often underpaid for her services. Attempts to automate care work could reveal the complexity and difficulty of professions that demand social intelligence, expressive emotion, and creativity.
Panel begins: 7:30PM