Judah vs. the Machines: Kairos face recognition AI can tell how you feel, but does it know what you dream?

Sometimes the lips don’t say what the heart feels, but instead of humanity working together on our own collective sense of caring and empathy, we have made the brave decision to build computers that can interpret emotions for us.

In this installment of Judah vs. the Machines, actor Judah Friedlander touches down in Miami to discover the wits of Kairos, a computer vision technology that claims to “understand people with face recognition technology.”

The startup claims that their technology can detect emotions like anger, fear, disgust, sadness and joy (as well as a lack of emotion). Friedlander seemed most concerned about whether the machine would be able to detect the emotion of “victory” that he soon planned to be feeling.

Friedlander sat down with Kairos CEO Brian Brackeen to figure out how the machine worked and see if he could get an upper hand in beating it head-to-head.

“There are 85 points on your face and the distance between those points is like a fingerprint — or a faceprint” Brackeen told Friedlander. “We feed the algorithm millions and millions of faces, and we say to the algorithm, ‘This is a male,’ ‘This is a female,’ or ‘This is Brian’ and it learns over time who these people are or what they are.”

Things are a bit more scrappy at Kairos’ machine learning team than when Friedlander visited the sprawling offices of Facebook. Kairos AR was founded in 2012 and has received just over $4.2 million in funding. Their primary customers appear to be companies looking to gauge brand perception or organize data through facial recognition, though they also tout their AI’s ability to serve as an authentication tool.

In his head-to-head challenge with Kairos, Friedlander was forced to guess the emotions of strangers watching videos designed to elicit reactions ranging from surprise to dislike to delight. Check out the video above to see how Friedlander fares.

See all eight episodes of Judah vs. the Machines here.