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8: Teaching AI Ethics- Affect Recognition

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    As artificial intelligence continues to develop and influence different aspects of our lives, its role in education is becoming increasingly important. One particularly controversial implementation of AI is affect or emotion recognition, which claims to interpret human emotions and mental states by analysing facial expressions, body language, and speech patterns. Advocates for affect recognition argue that incorporating it into education can transform how students learn, enabling personalised and adaptive teaching methods that cater to each individual’s emotions and cognitive state. However, the reliability and ethical implications of this technology make it well worth further investigation.

    This blog post introduces the ‘advanced’ level of AI ethics. At this level, it becomes more difficult to find information regarding these ethical concerns for a few reasons. Firstly, these issues are often complex and intertwined with concerns outside of the field of AI or education – for instance, affect recognition has its roots in psychology. Secondly, these issues are particularly contentious because of the vested interests in AI technologies and the companies that develop them. The next post on human labour, for example, will discuss a highly problematic issue which is potentially very damaging to AI developers’ reputations.

    In this blog post, I’ll explore the concept of affect recognition, its theoretical underpinnings, and the debate surrounding its effectiveness. I’ll also go into the ethical considerations of affect recognition in education and its broader impact on students, teachers, and society. For me, this is absolutely one of the worst potential applications of AI in education, for reasons which I hope will become apparent.

    8: Teaching AI Ethics- Affect Recognition is shared under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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