Computer algorithms can help determine what media messages we see. They help analyze what we think of it. But how smart are these artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms? And are they creative? Can AI create an actual Eurovision song? These were some of the questions and topics raised at the Cross Media Café, which is an initiative of Media Perspectives and The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision. At this interesting event, we were asked to give a talk about our online emotion analysis platform, FaceReader Online. In this blog post, we would like to share some of the interesting insights that we heard and shared (see also in Dutch this Media Perspectives blog post).
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.
|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|
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.
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.