Camera manufacturer Canon has invented a new way to boost workplace morale — installing AI cameras in its offices that force workers to smile to enter the building.
The Verge reports that Canon has installed cameras with AI-enabled “smile recognition” technology in the offices of its Chinese subsidiary Cannon Information Technology. The cameras only allow smiling workers to enter rooms or book meetings, ensuring that all employees are consistently smiling while at the office.
The feature was noted in a recent report from the Financial Times about how Chinese companies are surveilling employees to a worrying degree using AI and algorithms. Many firms are monitoring which programs employees use on their computers in order to gauge productivity and are using CCTV cameras to measure how long they take on their lunch break. Some companies are even tracking worker movements outside the office using mobile apps.