Laurence Seberini, the co-founder of Camatica. Photo: Supplied

DURBAN – South African facial recognition startup Camatica has this week added to its suite of facial recognition AI-powered products by launching ‘mood analytics’.

"Facial recognition software can potentially recognise a ‘Blue Monday’ simply by scanning employee expressions," said Laurence Seberini, co-founder of Camatica.

Camatica is a Johannesburg-based start-up specialising in facial recognition for the business.

Seberini added, "There’s nothing creepy about understanding when employees are experiencing challenges and putting in place solutions to help them. Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help a busy boss know when it’s time for a kind word or a warm cup of cocoa is a smart move, not an invasion of privacy". 

Camatica said that the launch of mood analytics is a further step in the right direction in terms of boosting employee satisfaction because it takes subjectivity out of the management equation.

Camatica was created to help companies derive value from their video footage using computer vision algorithms. Value in the form of face recognition for VIP's, shoplifters, shopper demographics, mood analytics and retail analytics. 

"For many of us, facial recognition is becoming our first exposure to the growing phenomenon of AI," said Seberini. 

In the workplace, facial recognition takes on a decidedly more positive tone. 

Camera-based AI in the corporate world can be used to mount necessary employee interventions, and also reward stellar employee attendance. 

"Excellent attendance at work by valuable employees is often missed by HR departments when outdated clocking-in systems are used," said Seberini.

Used responsibly by HR professionals, facial recognition systems can more rapidly pick up instances where intervention is needed to help an employee overcome personal challenges that may be affecting work attendance.

To get the best out of facial recognition technology, Seberini advises South African businesses to draft equitable policies and procedures that formalise AI’s role in the workplace sooner rather than later. 

Of course, this should be done in consultation with all stakeholders and never unilaterally-implemented. Most importantly, and as is commonly seen with employee email and Internet usage, staff must always be aware AI is in use.

The platform connects to a company or business camera feed and analyses the feed using computer vision. It was developed in Q1 2019 and it took roughly 6 months to develop this platform.

"We specialise in facial recognition with a purpose. Camera-centred AI can make a huge positive difference in the HR environment by rewarding excellent behaviour and bringing certainty to attendance, eliminating potential issues later on," said Seberini.

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