Sitting through a boring class has always been a struggle, but now it might be harder to go unnoticed as you zone out.
A Chinese lecturer has created a facial recognition algorithm that can tell when students are disengaged from what’s going on around them.
The somewhat rudimentary program is not (yet) tracking eyes to see if you’re gazing off into the distance, nor is it adept enough (so far) to tell whether you’re scribbling notes or drawing a dragon breathing fire on a Transformer (some of us got creative okay).
For now, the program tracks the faces of students and labels them either “happy” or “neutral.” Professor Wei Xiaoyong says that provides him with helpful information about his teaching. “When we correlate that kind of information to the way we teach, and we use a timeline, then you will know where you are actually attracting the students’ attention,” he told the Telegraph.
Whether students a generation from now will be docked points by a computer for zoning out is unclear, but scary to think about.