Zoom receives backlash for emotion-detecting AI

Ryan Daws is a senior editor at TechForge Media, with a seasoned background spanning over a decade in tech journalism. His expertise lies in identifying the latest technological trends, dissecting complex topics, and weaving compelling narratives around the most cutting-edge developments. His articles and interviews with leading industry figures have gained him recognition as a key influencer by organisations such as Onalytica. Publications under his stewardship have since gained recognition from leading analyst houses like Forrester for their performance. Find him on X (@gadget_ry) or Mastodon (@gadgetry@techhub.social)


Zoom has caused a stir following reports that it’s developing an AI system for detecting emotions.

The system, first reported by Protocol, claims to scan users’ faces and their speech to determine their emotions.

Zoom detailed the system more in a blog post last month. The company says ‘Zoom IQ’ will be particularly useful for helping salespeople improve their pitches based on the emotions of call participants.

Naturally, the system is seen as rather dystopian and has received its fair share of criticism.

On Wednesday, over 25 rights groups sent a joint letter to Zoom CEO Eric Yuan. The letter urges Zoom to cease research on emotion-based AI.

The letter’s signatories include the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Muslim Justice League, and Access Now.

One of the key concerns is that emotion-detecting AI could be used for things like hiring or financial decisions; such as whether to grant loans. That has the possibility to increase existing inequalities.

“Results are not intended to be used for employment decisions or other comparable decisions. All recommended ranges for metrics are based on publicly available research,” Zoom explained.

Zoom IQ tracks metrics including:

  • Talk-listen ratio
  • Talking speed
  • Filler words
  • Longest spiel (monologue)
  • Patience
  • Engaging questions
  • Next steps set up
  • Sentiment/Engagement analysis

Esha Bhandari, Deputy Director of the ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, called emotion-detecting AI “creepy” and “a junk science”.

(Photo by iyus sugiharto on Unsplash)

Want to learn more about AI and big data from industry leaders? Check out AI & Big Data Expo taking place in Amsterdam, California, and London.

Explore other upcoming enterprise technology events and webinars powered by TechForge here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

View Comments
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply