Dr. Luke Stark on Ordering Emotion: Scenes from the History of Affective Computing
So I mean, Sarah, if you want to start recording, because people can sign in well and doing the introduction because people can sign in while I'm doing the introduction. Welcome, everyone. Thank you for coming to the 71st event of Disrupting Disruptions, fek The venue. Welcome, everyone. Thank you for coming to the seventy-first event of decision disruptions the feminist, and accessible publishing Communications and Technology Speaker and Workshop Series. I'm Dr. any of the and accessible communications an Als Ketchum, and I'm a professor feminist, and Jeff. technology features. The publishing communications an tech speak
are an workshop series seeks to bring together scholars, creators and people in the industry working at insections Social justice studies at Mcgill and the organizer at this series the Feminist and accessible Publishing Communications and Text Speaker and Workshop Series seeks to bring together scholars, creators, and people in industry working at the intersections of digital humanities, computer science Feminist studies disability space of digital humanities, computer science, feminist communication studies, Lgbtq. Studies, History and critical race theory. studies, communication studies , LGBTQ studies, history and I'm so excited to welcome you all we have more upcoming events. critical race theory. I'm excited to welcome you all. We have more upcoming events. On January 23, a historical This semester on January twenty-third, we're hosting a historical, queer music event in person at Turbo House as a fundraiser for Rock Camp Montreal. queer music event in person at Turbo Haus for Rock Camp In addition to live musical performances. I'll be speaking about my new book.
Montreal. Live performances, I will speak about my new book and Ingredients for revolution, and Kirsten, to share to event the it will be talking about Montreal's clear music history. On January the 20 fifth, Dr. Sabas, a Heli Singh, will screen her films on surveillance and give a talk later.
This semester, we also welcome Indie Michelle, Dr. Abba Bahrain and Hannah Stephen and Dr. Kiersten Birhane will talk about music history.
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Thank you to our capture for today, Michelle, as we welcome you into our homes and our offices through Zoom, and you welcome us into yours. welcome you into our homes and officers through Zoom and you welcome us into yours, be mindful of the space and place . Past speaker Suzanne Kite and Jess McLean have impacted But us be mindful of space and place, as many of you know, past series speakers, Susan kite and des Mclean have pointed to the physical material impacts of the digital world but many of the events the semester are virtual or Hybrid everything that we do is tied to the the digital world while many events are virtual or hybrid everything we do is tied to the land and space we are on. Land and the space that we are on, we must always be mindful the lands that the servers enabling our virtual events are, on.
We must always be mindful of the land that the servers our events are on. Furthermore as the series seeks to draw attention to those that are visiblized, it is important to Furthermore, as the series seeks to draw attention to power, relations that have been visibleized, it's important to acknowledge Canada's long colonial history and current political practices. recognize the long history and current political practices. So, as you know, the series is affiliated with the Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies of Miko University.
This series is related to the feminist Mcgill is located in to joke Montreal on unseated Ganga Haga territory. study of McGill University. Furthermore the ongoing organizing efforts by indigenous communities, water protectors and people involved in movement make clear the ever present and ongoing Furthermore, the ongoing, organizing efforts by indigenous communities, waterproofors, and people involved in landback movements make clear the ever-present and ongoing colonial violence in Canada, inter woven with this is your colonization is one of enslavement and racism. colonial violence in Canada. Interwoven with sister This university's namesake, James Mcgillan, slay black, and indigenous peoples it was in part from the money he acquired through these violent acts. Let me go.
Colonization is racism and the University's name sake. Through the violent acts that McGill University was founded. These histories are here with us in this space and inform University was founded. These histories are here with us in this space, and inform the conversations we have today encourage you to learn more about the lands that you're on. the conversations we have today. I encourage to you learn more about the land you are on. Nativeland.ca is a Native land. Ca is a fantastic resource for beginning now for today's event. Dr.
fantastic resource for beginning. Now for today's event. Dr. Luke Stark is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at Western University in London, Ontario. He researchers the ethical
historical and social impacts of computational technologies like artificial intelligence, AI, and machine learning, ML. Luke Stark is an assistant professor in the faculty of information and media studies at Western University in London, Ontario, he researches the ethical, historical and social impacts of computational technologies like artificial intelligence, AI, and machine learning Ml stark is particularly animated by how Stark is particularly animated , in how technologies mediate social expression and are reshaping for better an worse these technologies mediate social and emotional expression, and are reshaping for better and worse are relationship to labor, collective action. our relationship to labor, collective action and each other. Stark's current book project, histories of computer and feelinges from cyber nettics to AI is a hifltry of effective computing in the digital quantification of And each other starts current book project, ordering emotion, histories of computing and human feelings from cybernetics to AI is a history of effective computing and the digital quantification of human emotion from 1,950 cybernetics to today's social media platforms I'm so human emotion from 1950s cyber nettics to today's social excited for tonight's event. Please join me in welcoming Dr. media platforms. I'm so excited for tonight's event.
Please join me in welcoming Dr . Luke Stark. Thank you all Luke Stark. Thank you all so much for being here so much for being here. » DR. LUKE STARK: Thank you so Thank you so much, Alex. It's a it's a pleasure to be here.
much, Alex. It is a pleasure to be here. It is great to have such a wonderful audience . I see some familiar names on the list, which is great. And I will start by offering my own land acknowledge which is to acknowledge that Western It's great to have such a wonderful audience. I see some familiar names on the on the Christmas list, which is great, and I will start by offering my own landed dollar event, which is 2 accounts that Western university in the land on which I'm speaking to you is located on the University and the land on which I'm speaking to you is located on the traditional lands of Traditional lands. Of the edition of Beck. The Hodena Shonee, the Laplac, and the Chinatown nations on lands connected with the London township and somber treaties of 1,796 and the Dish with one Spoon covenant
the connected to 1796 and Dish With One Spoon covenant Wampum . This land used to be at home for a number of different indigenous peoples. I ask you recognize as contemporary stewards and vital to our society here in London, wampum. This land continues to be the home for a number of different indigenous peoples who, I ask, we recognize as contemporary stewards and vital contributors to our society here in London, Ontario, I respect the one sending relationships and digitizations. Ontario. I respect the long standing relationships as original caretakers and ask as we have been asked to acknowledge the historical and ongoing justices of indigenous Have to this land is its original caretakers, and ask, as we've just been asked to to acknowledge, the historical and ongoing justices that indigenous peoples have been Jordan Canada, including the painful history of genocide and force removed from this peoples in Canada including the painful history of genocide in this territory and ongoing challenges in London Territory and ongoing challenges in London, including high levels of homelessness and substance abuse. including high level homelessness and substance abuse. I pay respect to the elders of the indigenous I pay respect to the elders of these nations, past, present, in future, and asked to be honor and respect.
nations and ask to that we honor and respected communities by accepting responsibility as publish institutions to contribute towards correcting miseducation. For respectful relationships with the communities. Community service. And striving for These communities by accepting responsibility as public institutions, to contribute towards revealing and correcting which this education for renewing respectful relationships with indigenous communities through our teaching, research and community service, and striving for restorative justice for indigenous peoples and all those who have restorative justice for indigenous people and all those who have been marginalized and oppressed. So as Alex put in her kind introduction, my work Been marginalized and oppressed, so as as Alex put in her kind of introduction, my work is is is multifaceted. is multifaceted but we speak today about my book project.
But my! We speaking to you today about my book project, I've added, I've added a read to the ordering. I've had to read to the ordering so I think I will So I think I'm not gonna call it reordering emotion. Histories of computing and human feelings, from cybernetics to AI. call it reordering emotion, histories of computing and from cyber nettics to AI. Just to give you a quick
But just to give you a really quick overview of the things that I work on in general. overview of the things that I work on in general, my research looks at critical histories of computing and My my research looks at critical histories of computing and emotion, and the sciences, fairness, ethics, and values in AI and digital media and digital privacy services in everyday life. emotion, fairness ethics and values in AI and digital media and surveillance in everyday life and I teach across these And I, I kind of teach it right across those areas a So, yeah, this presentation is part of a much longer and larger standing project of mine.
areas. Yes, this presentation is part of a much larger standing of mine. Some of you may or may not be familiar Many of you may be familiar with, or some of you might be familiar with on the history of human emotion as a subject of interest in AI.
with. With the history as subject to interest in AI, sieb are nettics and computer science from present back to Cybernetics and computer science from the present back to before any of those fields existed. before any of those fields existed. I'm hoping it'll be out in 2024. If my editor is on the call, I'm working on it . And soon. And so I will printout it talk in a series I'm really hoping it's going to be out in 2,024 if my editor from Mit presses on call, I'm I'm working on it soon, and so I'm gonna present this this this talk in a series of scenes scene one right? The question, part one. Where did these faces come from?
of scenes. Scene 1. The question part 1, where did these faces come from and why do they matter in some ways this is part of the genesis from this project. These faces appeared as I was finishing up my dissertation And why do they matter? And in some ways this was part of of the genesis, for this project these faces appeared as I was finishing up my dissertation and trying to figure out, you know what I was doing with my with my work, and with my life. and trying to figure out what ways doing with my work and my life. And they in some ways crystallized some of the And and they in some ways crystallized some of the some of the things I've been writing about into an actual, an actual, existing technical form, right? things I've been writing about into an actual existing technical form, right? So as you probably know these are So, as you probably know, these are images of Facebook's reactions, icons, right? images of Facebook reaction icons. Launched for the sites then, users, 2.1 billion in 2016. With human emotion made
They were launched for the sites. Then 2.1 billion active users in early twentieth 16, and I would say that there's still the most widely used example of human emotion made legible to digital systems is data as big data. Right? legible in big data. Facebook is now not what it once Of course, Facebook is now not what it what it once was, but these these are still, I think, that those kind of probably probably pound for pound, the most was. But these are still the pound for pound most common. Mike suspicions about the the significance of reaction. And my suspicions about the significance of reaction icons Icons were finally confirmed by some journalistic work.
were finally confirmed by journalistic work. I think from just last year. When " The Washington Post" reported I think from just last year, right when the Washington Post reported on.
on some you know, information about how these reaction icons So you know, information about how these reaction icons were used when they were introduced to the site right? were used when they were introduced to this site. And what the report governed was that these various reaction icons were meant that And what it's the the reporters had discovered was that these various reaction icons were, you know, meant that posts were weighted higher, you know, in Facebook's initial aggregate algorithm when when they were running in 2,016 so you know. weighted higher in 2016. So So it meant that a heart was weighted, you know, a post with a heart was waited to 5 times as much as as one with a like. It. it meant a post with heart weight et as five times as with a like. And it meant a post with an angry reaction was rated five times as much as one with a like. And so a
number of scholars and journalists pointed to is how Also meant that a post with an angry reaction was rated 5 times as much for as one with a like and right and so, and what a number of scholars and journalists appointed to is how this this kind of up voting of negative effect on Facebook is partially deployment or partially the this kind of up voting of negative affect on Facebook is partially to blame or part of the cause of our current problems around toxic information, conspiracy Cause of many of our current problems around toxic misinformation, conspiracism, and and you know other problematic behavior on social media information and other public behavior on social media. So you know, the react in 2016, the like button itself was added in February 2009. In both case he they were presented as So you know the the react racks were added in 2,016, the like button itself was added in February 2,009, right, and in both cases they were presented as mechanisms for consumer choice but in reality they were you know, also a way mechanism for super choice. But reality they were also a way it collect categorized data about user expression and soashology. Not just you but who you connect to. Whose to collect categorized data about user expression and sociality not not just about you, but also who you connect to, who, whose posts you like, more, whose posts you you know, you are more or less attracted to. posts you like or, who you are more or less attracted to. It
It's, of course, much easier to get users to provide structured data than to try to collect from other sources. is much easier to get structured it data than to collect from other sources. That's what these reactions And so that's what these these reactions are. They're they're structured data about emotional expression. are. Structured date whereabouts emotional
expression. Rs so looking at the landscape today there are a number of So, you know, looking kind of at the landscape today, there are a number of ways to collect structured data about emotions. ways to collect structured data about human emotions, right? You can collect physiological data about the body, about heart He's human emotions, right? You can collect physiological data right about the body, about heart rate or blood. rate, or blood conduct. Data from eye tracking and movement of the You know blood conductivity, behavioral data, everything from eye tracking and the movement of the mouse to things like facial facial response.
mouse to things like facial response. I would say most emotion recognition systems that are deployed as part of facial recognition or some combination of behavioral and You know I would say most most emotion, recognition systems that are deployed as part of facial recognition and facial analysis systems are some combination of behavioral and physiological data, structured mood data like those reaction icons. physiological data. Structured mood data like the
reaction icons I just mentioned and other things like emoji or gifs or others for that mode of emotion. I just mentioned, and and other similar things right like Emoji, or animated gifts, or other other formats for that amount of expression, semantic data, text words like love, haha, angry, sad, and various others. Text words like love, haha, mad, sad and various others. And social interaction, data that kind of combines all of these and understands the relationships between the people who are expressing these forms of data. And it is important to note that in some cases this data is And and then social interaction and international data data, that kind of combines all of these and understands the relationships between the people who are expressing these forms of data you know, it's important to note right, then, some in some cases this data is is is structured by the user as cl is develop by the user in some cases it's structured by the user, developed by the user, and Collected without the user knowing or realizing some cases collected without the user knowing or realizing. So before we dig into the history of these
technologies and how they connect to the present, a And so before we dig into the the history of of these technologies, and and and how they connect to the present a quick primer on theories of emotion. quick primer on theories are emotion because I think this is important and really shapes these conversations on social Cause I think this is this is important, and this is something that that really shapes these conversations on social media platforms, and more generally today. media platforms and more generally today. And this is
And I, you know this is a big discussion. There are philosophers on the call will be. a big discussion if there are philosophers on the call, they They'll they'll they can feel free to elaborate or correct me. But but what I you know in in, in my estimation, right? can feel free to elaborate or correct me. But what I, in my
estimation, this comes down to whether we, as thinkers and This really comes down to, whether we, as as thinkers and humans, understand emotions primarily as motivations or evaluations. humans, understand emotions primarily as motivations or evaluations. Are they, are emotions things that push us to do certain actions to take certain actions that we have little control over or are emotions part of the broader kind of Right are they our emotions, things that push us to do certain actions, to take certain actions that we have little control over, or our emotions part of the broader kind of evaluative or cognitive structure of thinking and and feeling? evaluative con nant structure of thinking and feeling. And this has a lot to did with a problem that the philosopher And this this has a lot to do with a problem that the philosopher Freddie Prince, calls the problem of parts right? Freddy prince calls the problem of hearts. Right? There are a number of different kind of ways we expression emotion and emotions themselves are recognized to have many components. Physiological, You know there are number a number of different kind of ways we express emotion and emotions themselves to recognize, to have many components, physiological, cognitive, behavioral.
cognitive, You know, evaluative right? So we know that emotions are complex. behavioral. Evaluative. So we know that emotions are How do these parts fit together, and which part is the most important right? complex. How do these parts fit together and which part is the most important in which do you consider the overarching one? So motivational theories are what are also sometimes called anti-intentionallist theories in emotion. Which do you consider the the kind of overarching one so motivational theories or what are also awesome, sometimes called anti-intentionalist theories of emotion have generally been heavily influenced by the work of the Princeton psychologist sylvan tompkins in the Generally heavily influenced by the work of the Princeton psychologist sill ss van torchgian in the 1950s. This
can be read from human expression from the face and body. They can be cross- culture. And they are hard to Nineteenth, fiftys. These theories suggest right that human emotions can be read through universal expressions in the human face and body, and that they are relatively invariant across cultures, and that they can be, you know, that they're hard to hide pretend that they that they because they're hide potentially or because they are motivating, they produce a kind of regular signature, you know, someone Motivating, they produce a kind of a kind of regular signature, even if somebody's trying to hide it. is trying to hide it. And in 1970s, connecting with an energetic and ambitious psychologist Paul ekman who developed something called the In 1,900 seventys. Tompkins, connected with a energetic and and ambitious psychologist, Paul Ekman, who developed something called the facial Action Coding System, which claimed to I'd be able to identify the specific muscle movements of facial action coding system which claimed to be able to identify specific muscle groups of the face that The face that correlated to particular emotions and emotional expressions.
correlated to particular emotions an emotional expressions. This is an image from that work, right? So this is a this is an image from that at work right and and this is an image of of what Ekman thought was sort of the 5 basic emotions said, is happiness, anger, dismay, and surprise. And this was the five basing emotions. Sadness, happiness, anger, dismay and surprise. And if they look familiar, it And if they look familiar it, it's because they they should do, and I'll I'll come back to that at the end is because they should, and I will come back it that at end of the talk. Theories that are understanding emotions as
evaluations or evaluative are more closely associated with Theories that are understand emotions as evaluations or evaluative are more closely associated with cognitive psychology, although not entirely. cognitive psychology though not entirely. And they, you know, they see emotion and they see human Bealeings as And they, you know they they they see emotion, and they see human feelings as part of the complex sets of information right? That help us as humans navigate the world. Right? part of the complex set of information that help us, as humans, navigate the world. So this quote from the sociologist, So this quote from the sociologist, Arling Russell Hookshield, who did some of the pioneering work on the History of affective labor, and actually coined the term emotional labor.
Arlie Russell, and calling the term emotional labor, I think I think is telling right. It's this idea that every emotion has a signal function, right? is telling. This idea that every emotion has a signal function. That they are signals. And are telling the body or telling that the person something that they can That it, that emotions are signals that are, you know, that are telling the body, or telling the person something that they they can incorporate into their broader mental framework incorporate into their broader mental framework. Now that I've given you the three minute description of Okay. So now that I given you like the the literally like 3 s or sorry. 3 3 min description of of emotion theory, let's switch to scene 2
emotion theory, let's switch to scene 2. So here is the So here's the second part of the question. So I've given you. second part of the question. I have laid out the kind of lay of the land in terms of how emotions are broadly understood by digital technologies. And so the kind of meat of my book project, is
I've laid out the kind of the kind of lay of the land in terms of how emotion is is broadly understood via digital technology or in digital technologies and so the the kind of meat of my book project is you know kind of an answer to this question how did silicon valley come to find it you know, kind of an answer to this question. How did Silicon Valley find it both conceivable and desirable to develop these Both conceivable and desirable right to develop these emotional, emotion technologies, and especially to develop this idea of emotional, artificial intelligence right? emotional, emotion technologies. And this idea of emotional artificial intelligence. The idea you
The idea that you could. You could offer emotion in the context of AI as well as the collect data about emotion could mate the context of AI and collect data about And you know the project is too big to summarize here. emotion. And you know, the product, to summarize here, I want to start to lay out three broad themes from the book that will help contextualize my presentation today and we But I want to start to lay out 3 broad themes from the book that will help contextualize my presentation today, and we'll sort of sort of thread through to the present. will thread through the present. These themes are as follows. For the first, computing technologies over
the last 60 to 70 years have really reinforced existing quantifiable biophysiological definitions of emotion. You These themes are as follows, for the first is that computing technologies over the last 60 to 70 years have really reinforced existing quantifiable biophysical biophysics logical definitions of emotion for you know, definitions of emotion that really focus know, by definitions of emotiona really focus on the body and focus not just on the body but also on the on the on the body, right and focus not just on the body, but also focus on the involuntary actions of the body and of a physiology. involuntary action he of the body. And of physiology. There are other, of course, other definitions of emotion There are other, of course, other definitions of emotion that that that folks in computing have have thought about an engage with.
that folks of computing have thought about and engaged with . But what I want it emphasize here is that computer technologies are taking up much older ideas. But what I want to emphasize here is that is it computing technologies that are taking up much older ideas, and in some ways picking up ideas that have been largely discredited or at least heavily complicated? And taking up ideas that have been largely discredited or heavily complicated. If In biology, physiology, and other kind of kind of related fields. you biology and physiology and other related fields. The second point is that these kind of quantifiable emotions have tended to either directly or indirectly justified emotion and emotional control. As
both proxy and mechanism or maintaining social norms. But The second point is that these kind of quantifiable biophysic biophysical definitions of emotions have tended to either directly or indirectly justified emotion and emotional control as both a proxy and mechanism for maintaining social norms by this I mean this I mean there is a much longer history about how emotion plays a part in the kind of broad audiologies of biopolitics, of colonialism. And of you know ma Right that there's a much longer history about how emotion is plays a part in you know the kind of the kind of kind of broad ideologies of biopod politics, of colonialism of, of, you know, misogyny and of other kind, of these kind of totalizing problematic things we massageny and other things we don't like and that the Don't you know we we we generally don't like, and that the work of the scholars has has sort of suggested right. work of the scholars has sort of suggested, that the emotional control is simultaneously a way to judge individuals for their social utility. But also a mechanism to maintain
That emotional control is simultaneously, you know, a way to judge individuals for their, you know, for their social utility, but also a mechanism to maintain those hierarchies right? the hierarchies. So for instance, in the 19th century, the idea that nonwhite races had less ability to control their emotions. Simultaneously meant that they So for instance, right in the in the nineteenth century, the idea that non white races had less ability to control their emotions right simultaneously meant that they that they that would they were, you know, the in in these kind of the kind of racist racist scientific appraisals of were you know, in these kind of the kind of racist scientific appraisals at the time that these nonwhite people were less civilized but also a mechanism to point to anybody who was not able to control their motions as being The time that th that these, these these non white people, were less civilized, but also it was a mechanism to point to anybody who was emotionally, you know, was not able to control their emotions as being in some way, you know, in some way primitive or childish or ativistic and in some way you know in some way primitive or childish and thus you know, need correction or needing you thus, you know, you know, needing correction or needing, you know not not needing to be taken seriously.
know, not taking anything too seriously. So finally, the final theme I want to highlight that will come up And so finally, the final theme, I want to highlight that that will come up again and again through this project. againand again through this project, is this, the way that these definitions have been and mechanisms have been Is this the way that that these definitions have been and these mechanisms have been articulated is through the triangulation between animals, machines, and humans, right? articulated, is through the triangulation between animals, humans and machines. And the And the ways in which the kind of selective use of of these different andities is different. selective usage of these different entities, different kinds of being, have allowed you know, mostly white male experts to justify and reinforce knows norms are out These different kinds of of being have allowed, you know, mostly white male experts, to justify and reinforce those norms around controlled that I just mentioned. of control that I just mentioned.
Okay, so let's let's dig into each of these themes in turn. So this idea, computer technology is reinforcing, existing, quantifiable biophysiological definitions of emotion. Let's dig into each. So this is something that is, you know , is notable and apparent that going back into the history, So this is something that that you know is is is notable in apparent that going back into the history, not just of computer science, but of cybernetics.
not just computer science but cybernet iks. The idea of homeostasis or self feedback, critical of the idea of cyber So many of you may know right that the idea of homeostasis or self regulated feedback right which is critical to the idea of cybernetic control that was applied after the Second World War, 2. nettic control, applied after the second world war to me can You know, to mechanical systems as well as to to humans. The term homeless cases actually was coined by this man. mechanical systems to humans. This man is a Harvard physiology gist. One of the major leading physiology gists
of the 1920s and 30s. And mab who was extremely interested, Walter Bradford Cannon, who was a Harvard physiologist, one of one of the one of the major leaving physiologists of the 19 twenties and thirties, and a man who was extremely interested, not just in emotion, but also in the ways in which the body not just in emotion but also in the ways in which the body was, you know, could be Was, you know, could be articulated as as as being analogous to society. articulated as being auntil you goes to society. So in
this famous book, "the wisdom of the body" published in late So in this book the famous book, The Wisdom of the Body, I published in late 19, late 19 twenties, you know, Canon, you know, talks a lot about the individual human body, and it's its ability to remain homeostatic. 1920s, cannon talks about the individual body and its ability to remain homeo static . Fluctuating within You know, we're maintaining it to kind of fluctuate fluctuate within parameters to, you know, to kind of survive and thrive. parameters to you know, to kind of survive and thrive.
But he talks about the body politics. He talks about the kind of problems of disregulated societies and he But he also talks about the body politic. He talks about the the kind of the kind of problems of dysregulated societies, and notably he, he actually, really, you know, takes a swipe at at the at the capitalist you know, this is this is again, like i'll be with the great takes a swipe at the capitalist. And this is Depression. And so Canada is is concerned. Right? That excess wealth. during the depression. So Canada is concerned that success, wealth, will disregulate and destabilize We'll just regulate, you know, and destabilize the the the kind of social body the kind of social body.
But the idea of emotion as being a physiological But the idea of emotion as being a kind of physiological phenomenon is is quite is, you know, goes back even before Canon. phenomenon goes back even before cannon. It goes into It goes into the work of late nineteenth century physiologists. the work of late 19th century physiology gists. Well documented by the story of scientists who describees this idea Well documented by the historian of science. O'neill Drawer, who describes this idea of emotion as number right, a kind of alternative medium for the circulation and expression of emotions. of emotionless number. The circulation and expression of
emotions. And you know, this was physiology gists in Britain, in the United States, especially you know, having a You know this? This was physiologists in Britain, in the United States especially, you know, having a lot of trouble again. lot of trouble, again, white male experts, articulating their emotions in the These were white male experts, articulating their emotions in the kind of the kind of prevailing social norms of the day which understood emotion as being feminine, feminized.
kind of prevailing social norms of the day which understand being feminine, fem niezed and sentimental. This was as pointed out, exacerbated by the fact that these male physiology gists were constantly gra pling with a new wave And you know, and sentimental. This was, as door points out, even exacerbated by the fact that these male physiologists were constantly grappling with a new wave of anti vivisection protesters and and animal rights activists who were deploying all sorts of you of anti-viva section protesters and animal rights protests. There were the welfare of the animals that Know emotional appeals to support the welfare of of the animals, that these male physiologists were doing experiments.
male physiology gists were doing experiments on. So the ability to find quantifiable measures of emotional expression through proxy such as blood pressure or skin connectivity or heart rate was both a means to produce a kind of scientific language through a So the development of the ability to kind of find, quantifiable measures of of of emotional expression through proxies such as blood pressure or skin, conductivity or heart rate, was both a means to, you know, produce a kind of scientific language of emotion through number, and also actually ended up being a means for number and ended up being a means for these men for these These men to express their own, you know emotional associity to each other in a way that was sanctioned within the kind. emotional These kind of the kind of dominant regimes of of gendered effect at the time.
sociologist to have a members of gendered affect at the time . So this idea of emotion of number carries to of course, the 20s and 30s, and with Canada and his associates at So the this, this idea of a motion of number carries through, of course, into the 1,900 twentys and thirtys, and really really permeates the work of Canon and his his associates at Harvard in in ways that are extraordinarily influential on the history of computing which i'll get to in A moment Harvard that are extremely influential. Let's speed ahead here. The person that did the most to associate the kind of physiological signals with emotion is a figure we may not have heard of I'm gonna speed ahead a little bit here, because the person who probably did the most to associate kind of the you know the the kind of physiological signals with emotion is a figure who you may not have heard of, unless maybe you've heard me talk who the which is this unless you man this is Dr. Man from clients, he's here. may have. Here, Dr.
He is playing the piano and document for clients, was first and foremost in his own mind, a concert pianist. He was born in the Austria-hungarian Empire, but emigrated with his family. Cline was first and foremost in his own mind a pianist. He
immigrated with his family and fled to Australia in the 1930s That fled is a better word to Melbourne, Australia, in the late 1,900 thirtys, to escape the National Socialist governments of Austria and Germany. You know, and as a you know, a clients, you know. toes is escape the national governments of Australia and Germany. He had a teenager. He worked in a canning factory He was a teenager. He, you know he! He in a canning factory, but very quickly showed a tremendous aptitude both for music and for mathematics. . But very quickly showed very mendous aptitude for His father had been an internal, and so he longed.
music and mathematics. His father had been an engineer. To make a long story short, he both, pursued a career as a concert pianist and studied at To make a long story short, he both, you know, pursued a career as a concert pianist, and and and and, said he to Juilliard, in New York City, but also needed to pay the bills for various reasons, conscience pianism didn't do that and so he began working on at Juliard in New York city. He began working on analog The development of analog computers in a company in New Jersey he was found here he was. computer ins New Jersey. He was met there. He met there, he met a famous psychologist at the time. Dr. Nathan
cline. It is a bit confusing. Cline and clines. Who was head of the research unit at Rothland institute in upstate He was met. There he met. There he met a famous psychologist at the time a doctor Nathan Klein, so confusing client clients, who was the head of a the research unit at the Rockland State Mental institution in Upstate New York, very large State mental institution so clients New York. Very large mental institution. One of the things that they did a few years later was approach the defense establishment with the request to aid the kind of American effort against the Soviets and Went to work for client, and one of the things they they did a few years later was approached the defense establishment with the request to, you know, aid the kind of American effort against the Soviets in the in the this isn't the and find some way to this is the 1950s. And find some way to put their joint research on mechanical systems and digital systems and drugs put their their joint resource on mechanical systems and digital systems and drugs for client was himself a big former psychopharmacologist to work.
for cline was himself a big psycho pharmacologist to There the result of this this collaboration was the coining of the term cyborg. work. The result of this club was the coining of the term cyborg. If you heard of clines, it is probably because he coined the term cyborg. Cyborg is a man/ machine hybrid. Man, So, so if you've heard of man for clients, it's probably because he was the one who coined or helped join the term cyber and the side work right was a you know, this man machine hybrid man definitely depicted in the cover on the and life magazine in 19 definitely. Depicted on the cover in "Life" Magazine in
1960. And you know, using the kind of mechanical and You know, using the kind of mechanical and computer engineering abilities of clients to pump various. computer engineering abilities of cline, to pump various regulating drugs through the body of the astronaut You know, regulating drives through the body of the Astronaut to help humans survive in space to help humans survive in state. You can see how cline's
So you can see here how client's interest in the body, in the kind of mechanisms of the body, and the mechanics of the body. interest in the body and mechanisms of the body and mechanics of the body predisposed him to think about physiological and their meanings. By the late You know, predisposed him to be thinking about physiological signals and their meetings, and by the late 19 sixtys clients had begun to do this in the context of emotion. 1960s, clines had begun to do this in the context of emotion . He designed a machine called the center graph. Pictured here. Which measured a user's quote unquote sent
grams or longitudal pressure and through the pressure of So he designed a special computer for a special purpose digital machine called the Center Graph, pictured here, which measured a user's quote, unquote centograms or longitudinal traces of pressure and 2 dimensions through the pressure of the finger and you know, actually I mean clients actually thought the finger. And cline thought that appreciate eush was a That pressure was a less culturally contextual form of expression. less cultural contextual form of expression. He was aware
of the problems of the fact that there was a cultural variation You know he was aware of the problems of, you know the problems of of, you know the fact that that there's a cultural, variation in things like, you know, emotional expression. and thing like emotional expression. And wasn't And he wasn't convinced by the work of Paul Ekman, right? convinced by the work of Paul ekman who claimed there were Who claimed there were these 5 emotions and they they could be seen on the phase. He he! You know he! these five emotions and they could be seen on the face. I
think he believed in strongly that there were universal I think, believed in strongly that there were universal emotions, but he didn't think the face was the best way to track them. emotions but didn't think the face was the best way it track them. He developed the center So he developed the centigraph instead, and clients believed that he could capture reliably.
graph instead. Cline's belief that he could capture reliably the same brain You know, the same brain pattern for distinct emotions. pattern for distinct emotion fess they, he would ask these users to visualize, to try to feel and embody particular If they you know. He would ask his, these users to visualize, to kind of try to feel an embody particular emotional states, and he would track these track, these, the brain, the kind of electric patterns in the brain the correlated to them. emotional states. And he would track these electric in the brain, to correlate between them. Capturing qualities of him, of emotion that are
So these authentic patterns kind of capture the qualities for him of the of emotion that are are personally right. precise, right? One thing that connects his work And one thing that connects us work to to clients is interest in the in music, was his belief that musicians translated their dominant syndrome into their music. to cline's interest in music is that he understand that it was introduced to music and that's why we have on the slide this image of various composer's being played by And so that's why we have on this slide this this image of various composers being played by various musicians, and the kind of claim that there's a there's a kind of correlation between them. various musicians. You games there is a correlation between them. I will say, too, that cliefns work is critical to I'll see here, too, that that that clients's pianism is critical to his work on emotion, because his understanding of himself as a romantic musical genius.
his work on emotion. His understanding of himself as a romantic genius is another mechanism. Another sanctioned way through which men could articulate and understand their own It is, you know, another mechanism, another kind of you know, hegemonically sanctioned way through which men could articulate and understand their own emotion right clients, emotion, work was not not popular, I mean, you know people thought he was he was crazy for it. emotion. Cline's emotion was not popular. People thought For even talking about the emotion right? And and so it was. he was crazy for not talking about emotion, right? So it with a is really this connection for him between understanding you know kind of the, you know, musical genius and the kind of emotional lives of great composers, romantic composers like Beethoven that gave him I It was really this connection for him between understanding the you know, kind of you know, musical genius and and the kind of emotional lives of great composers, romantic composers like Beethoven, that that kind of gave him I guess his own kind of social and and personal license to to engage with these topics guess his own social and personal license to engage and and they weren't. They weren't initially at all profitable.
with these topics. And they weren't initially put all profitable. He was fired at He was fired from this job at Rockland, State. He was also an extraordinarily difficult and problematic person to work with. this job and he was extraordinary problematic and process to dealt And and subsequently return to Australia for for most of the 19 seventies and 80 with.
So we'll leave that first theme there. We'll leave that. We'll leave this theme of physiology there. By will leave that first theme there. Leaving that theme of physiology there. So back to the second theme. These biophysiological definitions justified emotional control So back to the to the second theme, right? These that these biophysological definitions justified emotional controls with proxy and mechanism for maintaining social norms. with presmy and mechanism for maintaining social norms.
This is, in many ways, why cyber net iks as a field got started in the first place. So it wasn't just about engineers and mathematicians and computer folks at MIT, working This is in many ways why cybernetics as a field got started in the first place, so you know, it wasn't just about the engineers and mathematians and and you know, computers folks at Mit working on on anti aircraft. You know, trajectory, monitorings. It was also social scientists like Lawrence K. on antiaircraft. It was also social scientists like
Frank writing in the and and thirtys about what he called the management of tensions. Right? Lawrence K frank. Writing in the 1910, 20s, 30s, writing So Frank was an interesting figure. He was a sociologist, an educator, kind of education person. about what he called abstract. He spent most of his career in
foundations. Directing research funds first He spent most of his career in in big American foundations directing their research funds first Rockefeller and then the Macy Foundation, which, if you you'll hear more about in a moment. Rockefeller then the macey no undaition which you will hear more about in a moment. And frank was you know, kind of I
And Frank was, you know, kind of, I would say, kind of paragon of of the late progressive era in a American social policy. wish a pair gone of the late social policy. It was seen as a response to the The progressive error for those you don't know right was seen as a response to the kind of inhumane social conditions of the late century. humane social conditions of the late 19 k century. Social
conditions of the lower economic classes. And produced all sorts of potentially reforms. Settlement houses for educations. Family
planning. The kind of Dickensian working conditions and social conditions of of the lower of lower economic classes and and produced all sorts of potentially, you know, salutary reforms, work, settlement houses, you know, to for education and and family planning, you know, things, like you know. Regulation on on housing, but progressive era.
Things like regulation on housing. But progressive Social reforms also had a very strong eugenic undertone, or maybe maybe just overtone right? refomple also has a genetic undertone, maybe just overtone , right? Infused with the race Scions of the late 20 nch century and despite being uplift from all these progressive era thinkers offen believe that some again, some Right. They were infused with the race science of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, and despite, you know, being interested in uplift for all these, these, these progressive era thinkers often you know, believe that some some again, some classes, and and and groups of people were more easily classes and groups of people were more easily updrifted Uplifted than others, right and so and so Frank is within this tradition and and without, you know you know not.
uplifted than others. So you know, frank is not sort He's not, you know. He's not sort of explicitly articulating, you know. of, not articulating specifically racist views but he is talking about how important it is to train and educate young people in proper emotional conduct. And connecting this kind of Explicitly, racist views. But he is talking about how important it is to train and and and and and educate young people in proper emotional conduct and connecting this this kind of this kind of conduct with the kind of development of the normal psyche and the the kind of well-adjusted psyche and and he conduct with the development of the normal psyche and the well adjusted psyche. And he goes back and forth and the You kind of goes back and forth, or whether to what extent you know you know your your socioeconomic conditions.
conditioning and socioeconomic conditions and upbringing has to do with this. So frank considers himself a Your upbringing has to do with this, you know, it's for so frank consider himself a progressive, and, in fact, most of the people I'm I'm gonna mention the next next slide. progressive. Most of the people I'm going
to mention didn't think of himself as progressive. Including frank' s dear friend, anthropologist, Did consider themselves progressives, including Frank's dear friend, the anthropologist, Margaret Mead, Frank and Mead, or friends, you know, became friends of late 19. In the late 19 twenties they were, they were bosom buddies. Meade. They were bosom buddies. Their families lived together. They vacations together. So frank and me They lived together in their, had their families live together, they vacation together, and it was Frank and Mead who were became really engaged through the Macy Foundation with something called psychosomatic medicine. became really engaged through the macey foundation with something that this idea that is boty that the fiscal conditions of the body were connected to mental states.
And especially connected to emotion. To psychosis, neur roseis, various kinds Right. This idea that the the body right, that that that the physical physical conditions of the body were connected to mental states, and especially connected to, you know, to omit to emotion, to you know to psychosis, to neurosis, to you know, to various kinds, of kinds of emotional distress, it, was at of distress. It was at one of these meetings on one of these topics, one of these kind of medical meetings.
Involving a number of psychologists and social scientists that Meade, frank and other social scientists of One of these meetings on these topics, like so one of one of these, these kind of is kind of medical meetings, involving a number of psychologists and and social scientists that that the meat and frank and many other kind of social scientists of of their circle first met the their circle, first met the physiology gist and math me figureses who had been thinking about homeostasis in the context of Walter cannon's theories of the kind of Physiologist and mathematicians who had been thinking about homeostasis in the context of Walter Cannon's theories of the kind of biophysiological engagement, of emotion, and it seems clear that Mead and Frank saw the scientists as for biophysiological of emotion. It seems clear that meat and frank saw the scientists to give them the tools, mechanisms, to manage Giving them the tools, the mechanisms, right to manage social and emotional tensions more effectively. social tensions more effectively. Through the new
You know, through the new sciences of computing social control and cybernetics. sciences with social control and cyber nettics. So here is So here's a here's an image of of what became known as the Cybernetics Group, right in a series of meetings after World War 2.
an image of what became known as the cyber net iks group. World War II disrupted things. There were mathematicians and engineers and computer scientists. And you know, and What were 2 kind of kind of disrupted things? You had a you know, the bringing together of these social scientists and and and psychiatrists and and sociologists with mathematicians and engineers in computer scientists, you know, and so and so while emotion was not always a an so while emotion was not always an explicit topic of the meetings, though it smoo ims was, this question about explicit topic of the meetings, although sometimes was this question about about that kind of management of the postcore order and and the social management of the post order was omnipresent. the order and social management of the post war was omnipresent. There has been some scholarship. Different
There's, you know, there's been some. There's some scholarship, you know, there's there different opinions about, you know, who had, who had the upper hand in these meetings right? opinions about who had the upper hand in these meetings p . The mathematicians were dismissive of the work done by social sciences. But it is of note that social science saw The side. You know the the, the, the the mathematicians were, you know, were, you know, I think, quite dismissive of a lot of the work of the social scientists involved in the Macy group, but I think it's notable right that that it was social science that saw the value of of these the value of these kind of technical mechanisms to try to Kind of these kind of technical mechanisms to try to advance the kind of a kind of supposedly, or or putatively progressive. advance that kind of, supposedly, or punitively progressive but in many ways quite problematic. Project of But but in many ways quite problematic. Project of liberal social norms
liberal social norms. Okay so fast forward a little bit. So sticking on this Okay, so we're gonna fast forward a little bit because we're sticking on this theme about about about social tension to social control.
theme about social tension to social control. And we will fast forward to people who acknowledge that they don't And we're gonna press forward to some people who, to their knowledge, probably don't think that they have anything to do with Saturdays at all. have anything to do with cyber net iks at all. These were
the researchers working at the Palo Alto research center or park, the z Xerox park. A big research group that Xerox, at the time, a ledder in They might, these we