The deadpan look that you mastered over the years and executed so well during those last period geometry classes in school will soon be history, thanks to a certain Mr Jacob Whitehill of the University of California. This computer science student is developing a technology that can ‘read’ your face and convey to the teacher what you think about his/her lectures and your level of boredom. Once that cat is out of the bag, Mr Whitehill says, the teacher can then modulate the speed of the lecture or enrich it by adding more examples. We, thank our analytical mind for that, have found out yet another possibility: shocked at the level of your attention span, the teacher can also throw you out of the class. A godsend opportunity, many would agree.
But Mr Whitehill, however, does not have a devious mind like ours. He has a higher purpose: for him this technology is about “understanding and optimising interactions between students and teachers” and it marries facial expression recognition research with automated tutoring systems like e-tutoring.
There is no doubt that this technology will have great use for students. But, again our twisted mind is at work, we have a question: will this be the end of the road for the ‘pranksters’ in the class? Now thanks to this technology, it seems he will come in for special attention, or may be ‘special treatment’, from the teacher. Didn’t we tell you that technology can be a double-edged sword?