Amazon adds 'fear' to list of facial recognition traits
Amazon says that its facial recognition technology can now identify and analyse a new emotion: fear.
The tech giant, whose 'Rekognition' technology is licensed for use in a variety of purposes - including security and policing - announced the update this week in a blog post.
At present, the face identification software can pick up on seven emotions: happy, sad, angry, surprised, disgusted, calm and confused.
"We have improved accuracy for emotion detection and added a new emotion, fear," said Amazon in a written update.
"Face analysis generates metadata about detected faces in the form of gender, age range, emotions, attributes such as 'Smile', face pose, face image quality and face landmarks."
The move will add to unease among civil liberty groups about the growing sophistication of facial recognition and its potential misapplication.
Privacy campaigners have been warning about the danger of storing facial recognition records.
Elsewhere this week, a biometric database used by the UK Metropolitan police was exposed, leaving facial recognition and fingerprint data of over a million people vulnerable to misuse. The database vulnerability, associated with the web-based Biostar 2 biometrics lock system typically used by businesses and warehouses, was discovered by two Israeli researchers who gained access to 28m records including fingerprints and facial recognition data.
In the past year Amazon has found itself at the centre of a growing debate over the use of facial recognition by governments, with critics warning of false matches and arrests and proponents arguing it keeps the public safe.