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With Emotion Recognition Algorithms, Computers Know What You’re Thinking

A handful of companies are developing algorithms that can read the human emotions behind nuanced and fleeting facial expressions to maximize advertising and market research campaigns. Major corporations including Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo, Unilever, Nokia and eBay have already used the services.

Sensors Report Gunfire Directly to Police in 70 U.S. Cities, No 911 Call Needed

As Americans use digital methods for more of their interpersonal communications, law enforcement agencies have seized the opportunity to scoop up more information for cheaper than they could before, hoping to ferret out criminal activity. But violent crime still takes place in the physical world, with fragile human bodies on the line. A growing number of U.S. police departments are using a system of sound-detecting software to locate and respond to gunfire in hopes of catching more shooters and saving more victims. The dominant system they use is ShotSpotter, a network of acoustic sensors whose data filters through an algorithm to isolate gunshots. If shots are fired anywhere in the coverage area, the software triangulates their location to within about 10 feet and reports the activity to the police dispatcher. The system claims to be more accurate and more reliable than would-be 911 callers.

Lessons From Crowdsourcing The Boston Bombing Investigation

What started as an atypical request by the FBI to gather evidence from the public quickly morphed into a much uglier digital witch hunt, one where the crowd’s fears, prejudices, and suspicions were given credence, while guilt and innocence were doled out based on shreds of circumstantial evidence. In the four days, three hours, and nine minutes between the detonation of the first bomb and the Boston Police Department tweeting that the final suspect had been captured, a new approach for conducting crowdsourced investigations was established.