News ID: 214554
Published: 0549 GMT May 06, 2018

Brain waves measure employee happiness

Brain waves measure employee happiness

By using a solution called ‘emotional surveillance technology’, Chinese employers are looking to change the workflow to increase the productivity of their employees and therefore profits.

The technology — driven by artificial intelligence (AI) — involves wireless sensors in the employees' hats or helmets which then record incidents of anger, anxiety or grief in the workplace. Reports claimed that the scans are being monitored by factories, state-owned enterprises and the country's military, reported.

The happiness of Chinese workers and cases of suicide are a closely monitored by world media but it is yet unknown whether Chinese giants like Foxconn, which has about 450,000 employees and produces electronic components for iPhone, uses such technology.

A Chinese official, however, recently told the South China Morning Post that the profit of Zhejiang, an electricity supply company for the southern grid of Hangzhou Province, saw its profits skyrocket by $315 million since it started using technology in question in 2014.

Cheng Jingzhou, managing director of the company's program, said, "There is no doubt about its effect," as he added that brain data is helping a powerful company of 40,000 people operate at higher standards.


Minds can be read


Jin Jia, a professor of neuroscience at Ningbo University, said: "The workers using the device thought that we could read what was going on in their minds, which caused some discomfort and resistance at the beginning, but after a while they got used to the devices and continued to use it at work every day. When the system gives a warning, the manager asks the worker to take a day off or move to a less critical area. Some work requires high concentration. There is no room for error."

According to the newspaper, more than a dozen workplaces and the Chinese army are using a different program developed by Neuro Cap, a government-funded brain surveillance project from Ningbo University.


Threat to private life


Another type of sensor built by technology company Deayea is said to be used in the helmets of engineers working on the high-speed train line between Beijing and Shanghai. If the driver falls asleep, the sensor can trigger an alarm. Then the question of "what will happen if they take out the helmet or the hat?" comes to mind. Could this solution apply to aircraft pilots? The widespread use of emotion tracking may point to the fact that China can also use it for different purposes. Unethical demands of state institutions that are not audited by civil and professional organizations can lead to the emergence of different aspects of the problem.

So many people want to be the boss of their own business

Many unhappy employees dream of being the boss of their own business one day. When I sit in a nice cafe, the number of people who say, "I wish I could do this job" is not small at all and this has more to do with working conditions, small-scale family businesses and traditional company structures.

Employees, who are unhappy and harassed at work, want to be the boss of their business. Working six days a week and over 10 -12 hours a day does not make people happy and prevents them from improving themselves. According to a survey conducted by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Colombians (52 percent) lead the way in being their own boss or running the family business.

With 32.4 percent, Turkey ranks fourth, followed by Greeks and Brazilians. Those who continue family business can actually renew themselves with new business ideas.

Self-employment is defined as the employment of employers, workers who work for themselves, members of producers' co-operatives and unpaid family workers.



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