amazon skyscraper

Amazon’s Facial Recognition Software Can Now Detect Fear, Company Says

Rekognition could already detect “happy,” “sad,” and other emotions. Now, the software is capable of analyzing people’s faces for fear.

In a short blog post last week, Amazon announced its facial recognition software, Rekognition, is now capable of detecting fear in the images and videos it analyzes. The company says it has also improved accuracy for its other emotion detection capabilities, which can detect “happy,” “sad,” “angry,” “surprised,” “disgusted,” “calm,” and “confused.”

Amazon is far from the first company to offer algorithms that can reportedly detect emotions. Microsoft has done the same since 2015, and Google has offered its own service since 2016, according to WIRED magazine. But the company’s relationship with police departments, which are increasingly using its Ring doorbell surveillance service to collect videos and images from residents, is what makes it stand apart.

Some artificial intelligence experts are skeptical about emotion detection’s ability to accurately read faces and categorize feelings into a database that would be searchable for law enforcement or other clients. Rumman Chowdhury, a data scientist and the lead for Responsible Artificial Intelligence at Accenture, told WIRED that many industry leaders have become overconfident about what technology can do.

“To most programmers, as long as the output is something reasonable and the accuracy looks OK on some measure, it’s considered to be fine,” Chowdhury said.

The FBI and other investigative agencies can use emotion detection technology to sort through images that were collected during digital evidence gathering, according to Oxygen Forensics, which started offering the service in July. The tools can help them do their jobs more quickly, chief operating officer Lee Reiber told WIRED.

Amazon has not clarified how its emotion detection technology is currently being employed beyond stating that retailers could analyze live images to track emotional or demographic trends at its locations. And the tech giant has had less success with selling Rekognition to law enforcement agencies than it has with Ring, which many police departments are encouraging residents to use.

Amazon experienced debilitating issues with its only facial recognition partner in Orlando, Florida. Orlando police ended their pilot program with Amazon last month after its department was not able to get the software to consistently work with its existing video surveillance equipment.

The company continues to face criticism from the American Civil Liberties Union, which published findings last week that Rekognition wrongly flagged 26 California politicians as criminals.

About the Author

Haley Samsel is an Associate Content Editor for the Infrastructure Solutions Group at 1105 Media.

Featured

  • President Biden Issues Executive Order to Bolster U.S Port Cybersecurity

    On Wednesday, President Biden issued an Executive Order to bolster the security of the nation’s ports, alongside a series of additional actions that will strengthen maritime cybersecurity and more Read Now

  • Report: 15 Percent of All Emails Sent in 2023 Were Malicious

    VIPRE Security Group recently released its report titled “Email Security in 2024: An Expert Look at Email-Based Threats”. The 2024 predictions for email security in this report are based on an analysis of over 7 billion emails processed by VIPRE worldwide during 2023. This equates to almost one email for everyone on the planet. Of those, roughly 1 billion (or 15%) were malicious. Read Now

  • ASIS Announces ANSI-Approved Cannabis Security Standard

    ASIS International, a leading authority in security standards and guidelines, proudly announces the release of a pioneering American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-approved standard dedicated to cannabis security. This best-in-class standard, meticulously developed by industry experts, sets a new benchmark by providing comprehensive requirements and guidance for the design, implementation, monitoring, evaluation, and maintenance of a cannabis security program. Read Now

  • ISC West Announces Keynote Lineup

    ISC West, in collaboration with premier sponsor the Security Industry Association (SIA), announced this year’s dynamic trio of speakers that will headline the Keynote Series at ISC West 2024. Read Now

    • Industry Events

Featured Cybersecurity

Whitepapers

New Products

  • Compact IP Video Intercom

    Viking’s X-205 Series of intercoms provide HD IP video and two-way voice communication - all wrapped up in an attractive compact chassis. 3

  • AC Nio

    AC Nio

    Aiphone, a leading international manufacturer of intercom, access control, and emergency communication products, has introduced the AC Nio, its access control management software, an important addition to its new line of access control solutions. 3

  • Unified VMS

    AxxonSoft introduces version 2.0 of the Axxon One VMS. The new release features integrations with various physical security systems, making Axxon One a unified VMS. Other enhancements include new AI video analytics and intelligent search functions, hardened cybersecurity, usability and performance improvements, and expanded cloud capabilities 3