EyeReader – Webcam-based Eye Tracking Technology

Written by Vicar on . Posted in Blog, Past Events

Our eyes are our windows to the world. There is more behaviour from the face that gives relevant information other than facial expressions. Our gaze reveals what we are looking at and this often indicates what we find important. The size of our pupil responds to variations of lighting but also to task demands. As part of the MIT EyeReader project together with our partner Noldus, we have researched webcam-based eye tracking and pupil analysis. Standard eye-trackers use infrared cameras to assess these eye metrics and thus require specialized hardware. Eye tracking analysis from a webcam will make the applications a lot more flexible. We will continue developing the technology, but here we describe the validation results of two of the most important components of the successfully completed project.


AI Aid for Bite Sized Debates

Written by Vicar on . Posted in Blog, Past Events

A surprisingly low number of citizens is aware that in the Netherlands both the national and local government broadcast all of their meetings and debates. Even fewer people actually sit down to look at these live or recorded video streams, which is a pity as a majority of the discussions directly affect our daily lives. Therefore, in an attempt to increase participation and bridge the gap between government and citizens, we decided to commit our expertise towards improving the accessibility of these video recordings. Supported with funding from SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research), a government initiative to promote human-centered AI for the public sector, we conducted a 4 month study that finished with a prototype dashboard (see also VITE-A2).

Gemeenteraad Amsterdam

Student project with Emotion Recognition Software for Online Videoconferencing

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Since the pandemic online meetings have become a widespread phenomenon. During these meetings it is difficult to keep track of all nonverbal behaviour. We have used our research software FaceReader to develop a new tool “VICO” to gain Visual Insights for Video Conferencing. By measuring attention, emotional expressions and reactions of the members in the call one can better understand them. This will help optimize online meetings, such as online focus groups. Students from the University of Twente Finn Prinsenberg and Michel Schmale have used the tool in a very interesting design study to help users learn to read the room in an online environment. This is a short reproduction of their project.

Reading the Room

Presenting Posters at Online AI Conferences

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Unfortunately, due to the current corona crisis, events all over the world are cancelled and traveling is almost impossible. This is also a shame for young researchers that can no longer present their research at conferences. Luckily, conference organizers have also found a way to continue online. Amogh Gudi and Marian Bittner, our PhD candidate researchers, have recently presented at two online AI conferences on two very interesting topics.

online AI conference

Man-Machine Interaction Meeting on Technology, Applications and Ethics of Emotion Recognition.

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We can no longer imagine a world without interacting with machines. Staying informed on developments in human-computer interaction research is important; therefore, VicarVision is happy to be a member of the Man-Machine Interaction Platform (MMI). MMI is a Dutch platform with people from business, universities, and research institutes that aims to support collaboration and knowledge exchange in this field.

VicarVision hosted the most recent (online) member meeting on our own expertise: the use of artificial intelligence for emotion recognition. We addressed this topic from multiple viewpoints with presentations on the technology and applications, but also presentations related to ethics of A.I.