Emotion Reader is an Ireland-based startup that analyzes facial expressions around video content with the help of algorithms. It helps marketers measure the emotional response of the viewers to a video.
The startup has been acquired by Kairos, which a business that is focused on facial identification for enterprise clients.
Kairos began with founder Brian Brackeen, who, at the time, was making HR time-clocking systems for Apple. He implemented facial recognition after realizing people were actually managing to cheat the system. With his new software he ensured that employees were clocking in and out at the time they reportedly said they were.
And so Kairos was born.
The software has raised around $8 million from investors like Kapor Capital, 500 Startups, Florida Institute and others, but even with this financial backing and promises for expansion, Brackeen has been clear about Kairos not being interested in selling the technology to the government.
In a post published on TechCrunch he outlined the reasons why government agencies are not prepared to use this kind of technology:
“There is no place in America for facial recognition that supports false arrests and murder. In a social climate wracked with protests and angst around disproportionate prison populations and police misconduct, engaging software that is clearly not ready for civil use in law enforcement activities does not serve citizens, and will only lead to further unrest.”
He continued by stating that:
“We deserve a world where we’re not empowering governments to categorize, track and control citizens. Any company in this space that willingly hands this software over to a government, be it America or another nation’s, is willfully endangering people’s lives.”