Kairos, a leader in facial recognition software, announced last week that they would be acquiring EmotionReader, an Ireland-based startup that uses artificial intelligence to analyze facial expressions and emotions surrounding video content. The deal was highlighted
Founded by Endeavor Miami Entrepreneur Brian Brackeen in 2012, Kairos originally began as a time-clock app to better understand when employees were clocking in and out of work. Brian soon realized that many people were cheating the system, and began using facial recognition software to more effectively hold employees accountable for their work hours. After gathering a team, he continued to develop his technology, creating a more user-friendly program, and now sells their facial recognition technology to businesses. Kairos then joined the Endeavor Network in 2014 at the 56th Endeavor International Selection Panel held in Miami.
Adding EmotionReader to the Kairos team will add another dimension to Kairos technology. EmotionReader, a startup based in Ireland, focuses their efforts on creating a program that accurately reads users emotions when interacting with video content. With the EmotionReader research team on board, Kairos will be able to push the limits of artificial intelligence and create a more well-rounded, holistic, and accurate facial reading.
“In our mission to fix biases in today’s face recognition algorithms, we’re thrilled to welcome to Kairos some of the best deep learning talent in the world,” said Kairos CEO Brian Brackeen in an announcement on the company’s website.
With this new acquisition, Kairos is democratizing the use of blockchain and facial recognition software everywhere. However, critics fear that further development of facial recognition software could infringe on a person’s right to privacy and enforce pre-existing racial biases. Brackeen has been cautious of how the Kairos technology could be used since the inception of the company, and has been clear that he is not interested in selling the service to government agencies.
“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,” wrote Brackeen in a piece for TechCrunch.
As part of the deal, EmotionReader Co-founder and CTO Dr. Stephen Moore will oversee the Research and Development division in Singapore, allowing for future expansion into East Asian markets.
Contributed by MacKensey King