Working with affective computing: Exploring UK public perceptions of AI enabled workplace surveillance

Lachlan Urquhart, Alexander Laffer, Diana Miranda

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This paper explores public perceptions around the role of affective computing in the workplace. It uses a series of design fictions with 46 UK based participants, unpacking their perspectives on the advantages and disadvantages of tracking the emotional state of workers. The scenario focuses on mundane uses of biometric sensing in a sales environment, and how this could shape management approaches with workers. The paper structure is as follows: section1 provides a brief introduction; section 2 provides an overview of the innovative design fiction methodology; section 3 explores wider shifts around IT in the workplace; section 4 provides some legal analysis exploring emergence of AI in the workplace; and section 5 presents themes from the study data. The latter section includes discussion on concerns around functionality and accuracy of affective computing systems, and their impacts on surveillance, human agency, and worker/management interactions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the ETHICOMP 2022
Subtitle of host publicationEffectiveness of ICT ethics - How do we solve ethical problems in the field of ICT?
EditorsJani Koskinen, Kai K. Kimppa, Olli Heimo, Juhani Naskali, Salla Ponkala, Minna M. Rantanen
PublisherUniversity of Turku
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9789512989898
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sep 2022


  • affective computing
  • surveillance studies
  • workplace monitoring
  • design fiction
  • human agency
  • emotions


Dive into the research topics of 'Working with affective computing: Exploring UK public perceptions of AI enabled workplace surveillance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this