Intel calls its AI that detects student emotions a teaching tool. Others call it ‘morally reprehensible.’
Some researchers have found that because people express themselves through tens or hundreds of subtle and complex facial expressions, bodily gestures or physiological signals, categorizing their state with a single label is an ill-suited approach. Other research indicates that people communicate emotions such as anger, fear and surprise in ways that vary across cultures and situations, and how they express emotion can fluctuate on an individual level.
“Students have different ways of presenting what’s going on inside of them,” said Todd Richmond, a longtime educator and the director of the Tech and Narrative Lab and a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. “That student being distracted at that moment in time may be the appropriate and necessary state for them in that moment in their life,” he said, if they’re dealing with personal issues, for example.