VicarVision in VPRO documentary Game of Phones

Written by Vicar on . Posted in Blog, Media, Past Events

Last Sunday, a very interesting Dutch documentary “Game of Phones” was aired on the public broadcasting channel. This documentary dealt with how the smartphone appears to turn life into one big game. Where do we see this gamification and what are the consequences? This topic was illustrated from different angles, for example, you see teenagers explaining the social rules in tagging friends on social media, or an Uber driver giving tips on how to get the best scores.

The few faces of Mark Zuckerberg

Written by Vicar on . Posted in Blog, Media

Source: Captions from PBS proadcast of the hearing

One the most popular topics in recent news is Mark Zuckerberg’s, CEO of Facebook Inc., testimonies to congress. The CEO of Facebook was called to answer questions on matters of data privacy, security and misuse triggered by the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal. News outlets all over the world have debated on whether Zuckerberg was asked the right questions or gave satisfactory answers. Others commented on his demeanor. Since ancient times, the face has been described as a “picture of the mind” (Cicero). And one thing is for certain: for most of his five-hour senate hearing Zuckerberg’s face was quite expressionless.

Source: edited from PBS proadcast of the senate hearing

What does FaceReader measure in the absence of facial expressions?

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Social interactions are central to human life. For most people, moving your face to express your emotions is an automatic and natural thing. But what happens when you cannot move the muscles of your face? In the Dutch TV program “Je zal het maar hebben” (loosely translated as: “what if you have it”) presenter Tim Hofman follows young people with a special condition. In the episode that aired last Tuesday, the program followed Arnoud, who has Moebius syndrome. People born with this syndrome have paralysed facial muscles. This means he always has the same expression. To find out what this expression expressed, Tim and Arnoud went by our office to measure his expression with FaceReader.

FaceReader in the Annual Dutch Science Quiz

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Why does the shower curtain always stick to your legs? What is more sustainable, cheese or herring? These kind of questions were asked in the annual national science quiz (de Nationale Wetenschapsquiz 2017), which aired the 26th of December (watch it here). Ionica Smeets and Pieter Hulst presented the quiz and the guests were three duos consisting of a scientist and an artist. In this program, the teams tried to answer surprising and interesting questions on scientific research. You can find all the questions and answers here (in Dutch). Two teams played the finale, where the program used our FaceReader software in a very interesting way.

Spicy TV Show Measured Facial Expressions while Watching Erotic Videos

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What does lust look like? How do people respond to something they find exciting? FaceReader has endless application possibilities. The Dutch television program “Spuiten en Slikken” used FaceReader to measure responses towards explicit erotic images. Spuiten en Slikken is a spicy television show, on a public service channel, that informs their viewers about everything related to sex and drugs. In this current topic, which aired on Tuesday the 24th (warning: explicit content), they interviewed a girl who was asexual. Someone who is asexual lacks sexual attraction to others. Sexologists consider it a sexual orientation, but there is a lot of prejudice towards it. Therefore, the TV show used different ways to figure out what it means to be asexual. One of these was using FaceReader to measure someone’s objective response towards erotic videos.