Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

China touted emotion recognition systems as a means of crime prevention at its 2019 Public Security Expo, Financial Times reports (subscription), although experts say the tech doesn't work as advertised.

Reality check: "The science on emotion recognition is pretty bogus," ACLU senior policy analyst Jay Stanley tells Axios. A July study found that it is not possible to confidently assign emotional states to facial expressions "regardless of context, person, and culture" — "as much of current technology tries to do."

What's happening: China says it's rolling out the tech in Xinjiang, where Uighur Muslims are kept in mass detainment camps, and in subway stations and airports to "identify criminal suspects," per FT.

“At present only a few schools and public security bureaus have products that include this type of technology,” Zhen Wenzhuang told FT, adding that emotion recognition has "not been fully developed for commercial use" in China.

Between the lines: Even if the tech doesn't track emotions as advertised, being watched or even thinking you're being watched can still have a psychological effect and encourage people to change their behavior, as seen in workplace polling.

In the U.S., Microsoft claims that its Face API program can identify emotions like contempt, happiness and disgust. Amazon's Reokognition points out that when its API identifies someone's facial expression, it "is not a determination of the person’s internal emotional state."

Go deeper: AI is "awakening" surveillance cameras

Go deeper

Updated 59 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Chris Christie: Wear a mask "or you may regret it — as I did" — Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted relief bill.
  2. Business: New state unemployment filings fall.
  3. Economy: Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet).
  4. Health: FDA approves Gilead's remdesivir as a coronavirus treatment How the pandemic might endMany U.S. deaths were avoidable.
  5. Education: Boston and Chicago send students back home for online learning.
  6. World: Spain and France exceed 1 million cases.

Early voting eclipses 2016 total with 12 days until election

People stand in line to vote early in Fairfax, Virginia in September. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Americans have cast more than 47.1 million ballots in the 2020 presidential election, surpassing the total early-vote count for 2016 with 12 days left until Election Day, according to a Washington Post analysis of voting data.

Why it matters: The election is already underway, as many states have expanded early and mail-in voting options because of the coronavirus pandemic.

What to expect from the final debate of the 2020 election

Trump and Biden at the first debate. Morry Gash-Pool/Getty Image

Watch for President Trump to address Joe Biden as “the big guy” or “the chairman” at tonight's debate as a way of dramatizing the Hunter Biden emails. Hunter's former business partner Tony Bobulinski is expected to be a Trump debate guest.

The big picture: Trump's advisers universally view the first debate as a catastrophe — evidenced by a sharp plunge in Trump’s public and (more convincingly for them) private polling immediately following the debate.

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