Nazanin Andalibi

Emotion AI in the future of work

Speaker: Nazanin Andalibi, Ph.D., University of Michigan School of Information

Date: 2024-1-18 12:30 pm

Academy of Medicine Auditorium
875 W Peachtree St NW
Atlanta, GA 30309

Emotion AI, increasingly used in mundane (e.g., entertainment) to high-stakes (e.g., education, healthcare, workplace) contexts, refers to technologies that claim to algorithmically recognize, detect, predict, and infer emotions, emotional states, moods, and even mental health status using a wide range of input data. While emotion AI is critiqued for its validity, bias, and surveillance concerns, it continues to be patented, developed, and used without public debate, resistance, or regulation. In this talk, I highlight some of my research group's work focusing on the workplace to discuss: 1) how emotion AI technologies are conceived of by their inventors and what values are embedded in their design, and 2) the perspectives of the humans who produce the data that make emotion AI possible, and whose experiences are shaped by these technologies: data subjects. I argue that emotion AI is not just technical, it is sociotechnical, political, and enacts/shifts power – it can contribute to marginalization and harm despite claimed benefits. I advocate that we (and regulators) need to shift how technological inventions are evaluated. 

Dr. Nazanin Andalibi is an Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan School of Information. Her research interests are in social computing and HCI. Specifically, she studies the interplay between marginality and technology. She examines how marginality is experienced, enacted, facilitated, or disrupted in and as mediated through sociotechnical systems. Andalibi’s scholarship informs theory, design, and policy for socio-technical futures that foreground marginalized individuals’ values and needs to support qualities such as wellbeing, privacy, ethics, and justice. Andalibi’s work is published in venues including CHI, CSCW, TOCHI, JMIR, and New Media and Society, and featured by media outlets such as CNN, TIME, Fast Company, and Huffington Post. Her publications have received Best Paper and Honorable Mention Awards at CHI and CSCW, and she is a recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER award.