This is the internet weblog of Bix Frankonis.

Technology keeps showing people what it’s like to be actually-autistic. First it was Zoom Fatigue giving neurotypicals a dose of sensory processing and social communication difficulties, then it was being stuck working from home causing task-switching problems, and now comes so-called “affective computing” forcing upon you the right way to emote.

Emotions, by his logic, should be subject to scientific reduction as well. He proposes to decompose “feelings” or “emotions” into constituent parts, a step toward quantifying them like temperatures or speeds. A patent application from Affectiva, the firm co-founded by Picard, describes in some detail just how such quantification might work, by analyzing faces to capture emotional responses and generate “an engagement score.” If institutions buy into these sorts of assumptions, engineers will continue making such machines that try to actualize them, cajoling customers and patients, workers and students, with stimuli until they react with the desired response — what the machine has already decided certain emotions must look like.

Remember these experiences the next time actually-autistic people discuss having to endure these sorts of challenges pretty much every day of our lives.