Scientists at the Queen Mary University of London have developed a new artificial intelligence (AI) system that uses radio wave signals and a deep-learning neural network to detect a person’s emotions, according to United Press International (UPI).

Along with detecting emotions such as anger, sadness, joy, and pleasure, the novel system can also identify heart rate and breathing patterns. The researchers conducted a study using the new system to detect one of four aforementioned primary emotions.

The study was published Wednesday in the journal PLOS One.

The corresponding author of the study Yang Hao told UPI, “The low power radio signal is transmitted from an antenna and it reflects from the body.”

“During breathing an individual’s chest moves when they inhale and exhale, which modulates the reflected signal,” he added. “The internal heartbeat movements also modulates the reflected signal.”

Yang is a professor of antennas and electromagnetics at the Queen Mary University of London.

He explained, “Traditional machine learning approaches necessitate manual extraction of hand-crafted features that generally requires domain expertise and can even be subject to human bias. For example, a human would decide what descriptors would carry the important information inherent in raw data. This tedious step is no longer needed with a deep neural network where it can self-capture even the slightest details from raw data.”

“Emotions are someone’s personal privacy matter, and should not be monitored in public places unless strict legislation of data protection is widely accepted for its effective utilization,” Yang continued. “Moreover, use of this technology should only be considered in specific areas that are acceptable to society.”

“For instance, emotions detected using this method may not provide an accurate representation of someone’s true feelings so the results should not be used directly in decision making or healthcare,” the professor added. “For this reason, to develop this technology for wider use more work is required around ethical concerns and its social impact.”

Yang and his team are currently recruiting health care professionals and social scientists to help them address ethical concerns as they developing publicly acceptable uses for the new technology, according to UPI. The story was first published in UPI.