by Zoe Pollock

Nathan Yau reviews the eerie experiment that is Happylife, a smart-home machine that can monitor a family's moods by reading facial expressions with a thermal image camera. Eventually the system would be able to predict different emotional states, having accumulated data over various years. From a series of vignettes by a family with Happylife in their home:

We installed Happylife. Not much happened at first: an occasional rotation, a barely appreciable change in the intensity of light. But we felt it watching us, and knew that some kind of probing analysis had begun. After only a few months, we found ourselves anticipating the position of the dials. The individual displays rarely contradicted our expectations, but when they did it encouraged us to look inwardly at ourselves.

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