Did you know that businesses invest millions of dollars in technology that can analyze people’s facial expressions and try to figure out their emotional state and intentions? Believe it or not, emotion detection by means of Artificial Intelligence is a $20 billion industry.

Companies like Microsoft and IBM say they have developed software that can do just that. Even the U.S. military has funded research into emotion detection in an effort to improve homeland security.

But this month’s New Bedford Science Café will examine why such software isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.

On Tuesday, January 7, Jennifer Fugate, Ph.D., a social-cognitive psychologist and assistant professor at UMass Dartmouth will present “Face Value: Why the Science Behind Facial and Emotion Recognition Technology Is Flawed.” It’s happening at the Vault at Greasy Luck, 791 Purchase Street in New Bedford. Admission to the lecture is free and open to everyone, and the Vault will be offering up food and drink for purchase beginning at 5:45 p.m.

If you’ve never experienced it before, the New Bedford Science Café is an informal gathering each month that brings in a local scientist or expert to shed light on a certain topic for anyone interested. For more information call (508) 984-1955, and keep track of their events at nbsciencecafe.com or via their Facebook page.

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