Digital personality tracking, affective computing, and emotional artificial intelligence (AI) are major growth areas in computer science. Here, I argue the design of contemporary clinical and popular technologies for tracking human emotions, such as smart phone apps or wearable devices, is grounded in a longer, often circuitous history of diverse fields including physiology, clinical psychology, cybernetics, and communication studies. Through this historical analysis, I explain the ongoing impact of the psychological sciences on contemporary Big Data and artificial intelligence (AI) research, and social media platform design and experimentation, and critique the racial, gendered, and cultural assumptions at work in erstwhile neutral contemporary AI systems for measuring and analyzing emotional data.
Note the changed time.
Luke Stark is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at the University of Western Ontario. His work interrogating the historical, social, and ethical impacts of computing and AI technologies has appeared in journals including The Information Society, Social Studies of Science, and New Media & Society, and in popular venues like Slate, The Globe and Mail, and The Boston Globe. Luke was previously a Postdoctoral Researcher in AI ethics at Microsoft Research, and a Postdoctoral Fellow in Sociology at Dartmouth College; he holds a PhD from the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University.