From Traffic Jams to Smiling Faces: The Impact of Emotion Recognition in Smart Cities

A smart city’s goal is to enhance the well-being of its citizens with digital technologies. This tech gathers a lot of data but we usually use only objective data (e.g. air pollution measurements). What if we included subjective data as well like the citizen’s emotional reactions?

Emotion recognition technology uses machine learning algorithms to analyze facial expressions and identify emotions like happiness, sadness, anger, fear, and surprise. The technology can be used to provide real-time feedback to city administrators and law enforcement on the emotions of individuals in public spaces.

Living in an emotionally driven city

A research project called "Emotional AI in Cities: Cross Cultural Lessons from UK and Japan on Designing for an Ethical Life" has been launched to explore the use of biometric and online technologies that can recognize emotions, moods, attention, and intentions in cities in the UK and Japan.

It started in 2020 and will last for 3 years to assess the ethical implications of using emotional AI technology in smart cities and understanding the governance approaches for collecting and using emotional data in public spaces. 

The outcome of this research project and similar initiatives will play a crucial role in shaping the future of emotional AI in smart cities.

Dubai's customer satisfaction with emotional AI

The Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is using smart cameras to monitor customer satisfaction. The cameras, which use artificial intelligence, have been installed at four Happiness Centers (government-run customer service) and analyze customers’ facial expressions before and after their transactions. 

The system then calculates the customer's level of happiness with the service they received, sending a detailed report to a dashboard. If the happiness level falls short, the system can send text messages and emails to alert staff of a potential problem. The smart cameras are made in the UAE and are highly accurate, building a picture of customers’ facial expressions by taking 30 frames per second at a seven-meter range. This technology is part of Dubai's efforts to become the world's smartest city.

Creating an emotional pulse of a city

Emotion recognition using facial expressions can provide a smart city with a real-time "emotional pulse" of its citizens by measuring their emotional responses to various stimuli in public spaces. This information can help city administrators make data-driven decisions to improve the quality of life for its citizens. 

Here are some potential benefits:

  1. Safety and security: By detecting emotional reactions to potential danger, smart city authorities can quickly respond and take preventative measures to ensure the safety of its citizens.
  2. Public service delivery: Understanding the emotional state of citizens can help city administrators prioritize and improve public services such as transportation, healthcare, and social services.
  3. Retail and marketing: Retail businesses and advertisers can use emotional data to personalize their offerings and improve customer experiences.
  4. Urban planning: Emotional data can provide valuable insights into citizens' preferences and satisfaction with public spaces, which can inform urban planning decisions and improve the design of public spaces.
  5. Public engagement: By measuring the emotional responses of citizens to public events, campaigns, and other initiatives, city administrators can improve their outreach and engagement efforts.

At Alyze we have advanced algorithms and machine learning techniques to analyze facial expressions to detect emotions and moods that we could adapt to real-time. Our software can then process this data and provide insights into the emotional state of individuals in public spaces.

Try it out here and see for yourself. 

This is the future.

Let's Talk
Contact Us