Camera manufacturer Canon has come up with an unusual solution for bad moods at work. In its office in China, an AI in the cameras on doors ensures that only smiling employees are allowed in.

Bad mood at work? Not at Canon! The camera manufacturer has come up with an interesting solution. In its office in China, Canon has installed an AI program that only allows smiling employees to enter.

Please smile, otherwise…!

The AI can be found on cameras throughout Canon Information Technology’s China office, as The Verge reports. Starting work in the morning, staff conference, customer meeting – the doors open only with a smile. Smile Recognition is the name of the game and is supposed to ensure that employees are always 100 percent happy.

Canon already installed the cameras last year, as part of various smart workplace measures. But so far, the practice hasn’t received much attention.

Now, however, the Financial Times has picked up on the AI cameras in a major report that looks at various technology-based observation tactics used by Chinese companies.

Employees permanently under observation

Artificial intelligence and algorithms are used to monitor employees at their PCs and measure their productivity. Cameras also register how much time employees spend on breaks and what they do outside the office is tracked via mobile apps.

In fact, such apps are not unique to China. In the U.S., Amazon is taking similar approaches, using various computer technologies to spy on or evaluate employees.

Even when many companies switched to home offices due to the pandemic, some took this as an opportunity to monitor the productivity of their employees via software. Programs like Microsoft 365 already have such applications installed in advance.

Canon’s smile cameras are actually the most harmless example of this.