Am I the only one who has ever been creeped out by the specter of Santa Claus? An all-knowing, one man judge and jury revanchist who allegedly knows everything that goes on, doling out what he thinks people deserve? As a mild-to-moderate dystopian, I am paranoid about things like that, and if Santa gets his way, he is going to be even more efficiently big-brother-ish than before, according to the byline of this article sent to me by a reader:
By using technology to detect guilty expressions, of course. CSIRO is using automated expression recognition technology to tell whether someone is in pain and, according to computer scientist, CSIRO’s Dr Simon Lucey, there’s no reason why Santa couldn’t train the system to find out who’s been naughty or nice.We've talked about microexpressions before. And apparently "they" have had some success programming computers to read them:
While a guilty person might fool a human with their look of pure innocence, it’s very hard to fool Dr Lucey’s computer.Yeah, that's *one* application for it. Another, perhaps more obvious application also springs to mind.
“There are always some micro expressions that we are unable to control and some of these are associated with deception. It is these tiny facial expression components that the computer can spot.”
The system uses a technique called machine learning. After being programmed with what to look for and what it means, each observation taken or analysis performed is used to refine the computer’s technique so it gets better at its assigned task over time.
“When it comes to finding out who’s been naughty or nice, we show the computer what expressions are associated with good behaviour and it watches for a departure from that” Dr Simon Lucey
One of the applications for Dr Lucey’s research is in detecting whether someone who cannot communicate is in pain and how intense that pain is.