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Title: China is mining data from workers’ brains to spot depressed employees
Source: Daily Mail
URL Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencet ... ional-depressed-employees.html
Published: Apr 30, 2018
Author: Harry Pettit
Post Date: 2018-04-30 11:48:49 by Willie Green
Keywords: None
Views: 147

China is mining data directly from workers' brains using mind-reading hats to spot emotional and depressed employees

  • China is monitoring the brain activity of employees in its factories and military
  • The technology works by placing wireless sensors in workers' hats or caps
  • When combined with AI, the gadgets can spot workplace rage and anxiety
  • Employers use this 'emotional surveillance technology' to boost productivity and profits by tweaking workflows

China is monitoring the brain activity of employees in its factories, state-owned enterprises and military on an 'industrial scale'.

The technology works by placing wireless sensors in workers' hats or caps that when combined with artificial intelligence can spot workplace rage, anxiety or depression.

Employers use this 'emotional surveillance technology' to boost productivity and profits by tweaking workflows, including employee placement and break lengths.

China is monitoring the brain activity of employees in its state-run firms. The technology works by placing wireless sensors in workers' hats that when combined with AI can spot workplace anxiety or depression. Pictured is a version installed in the cap visors of train drivers

At power company State Grid Zhejiang Electric Power in the southeast city of Hangzhou, the technology has helped to lift profits by £230 million ($315 million) since it was introduced in 2014, according to the South China Morning Post.

Cheng Jingzhou, the official who oversees the company's program, said 'there is no doubt about its effect'.

He added that the brain data helps the company's 40,000 employees work to higher standards.

More than a dozen Chinese businesses and the country's military have used a similar brain surveillance technology, according to the Post.

The gadgets were developed by the state-funded brain monitoring project Neuro Cap, based out of Ningbo University, around 90 miles (150km) from Hangzhou.

'They thought we could read their mind. This caused some discomfort and resistance in the beginning,' Professor Jin Jia, a neuroscientist at Ningbo University, told the Post.

Employers use this 'emotional surveillance technology' to boost productivity and profits by tweaking workflows, including employee breaks and placement. It has reportedly been used to monitor drivers of China's high-speed trains (stock image) to catch sleeping workers

'After a while they got used to the device... They wore it all day at work.'

Professor Kin added that some employees have been sent home as a result of their brainwaves.

'When the system issues a warning, the manager asks the worker to take a day off or move to a less critical post,' he said.

'Some jobs require high concentration. There is no room for a mistake.'

 More than a dozen Chinese businesses and the country's military (stock image) have used a similar brain technology. The gadgets were developed by the state-funded brain monitoring project Neuro Cap, based out of Ningbo University, around 90 miles (150km) from Hangzhou


WHAT IS CHINA'S 'EMOTIONAL SURVEILLANCE TECHNOLOGY'?

China's military and a number of its state-owned businesses are using 'emotional surveillance technology', according to some reports.

The programmes use wireless sensors in workers' caps and hats to monitor their brain activity.

When combined with an artificial intelligence algorithm, these readings can detect when employees are feeling depressed, stressed or anxious.

Employers can then give workers extended breaks or shift them to simpler placements to help reduce their stress levels.

The technology is aiding Chinese firms in boosting productivity and profits, reports suggest.

At State Grid Zhejiang Electric Power in the southeast city of Hangzhou, the technology has helped to lift profits by £230 million ($315 million) since it was introduced in 2014.


Another type of brain sensor is built into the caps of drivers of the high-speed railway line between Shanghai and Beijing.

The surveillance gadgets, built by technology firm Deayea, trigger an alarm if a driver falls asleep.

China's brainwave monitoring programmes mark in a new stage in the country's surveillance state, which until now has focussed on facial recognition technology and heavy internet censorship.

It is not known whether employees wearing the technology are aware they are being monitored.


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