Canon, in China, has introduced a brand-new technique to tackle the problem of workplace morale by installing cameras with AI-enabled “smile recognition” technology in the Chinese Canon Information Technology offices. The installed cameras allow only the cheerful employees to get into the rooms or book meetings so that each of the employees may be ensured to be happy all the time.
The Financial Times has published a report regarding the Chinese companies closely monitoring the employees in the company using AIs and algorithms. The Chinese corporations are even supervising the programs employees use on their computers to determine their productivity each day. They even check for the duration of their lunch break with the help of CCTV cameras and track their movements using the dedicated mobile applications.
According to Nick Srnicek, King’s College London academic, workers in the firms are not being replaced by these technologies, rather the management of the company has been amplified with the help of these technologies. He continues to say that the technologies have accelerated people’s productivity at work, similar to the industrial revolution in the 18th century.
The “smile recognition” cameras were initially announced by Canon Information Technology last year, as part of a suite of workplace management tools. The technology, however, couldn’t gain much attention since it got announced. It may though be counted as the right example to spread awareness on how common surveillance tools like this are becoming, in different parts of the world.
These modern technologies are not set to be limited to corporate offices. In fact, some of the modern software suites such as Microsoft 365 are available with built-in surveillance tools. Meanwhile, the companies have deployed these features to ensure their control over their employees working from home due to the pandemic going on.
To conclude it can be seen how AI-enabled smile recognition cameras may turn out to be the least dangerous types of surveillance technology.