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We wanted to engage a broad group of non-technical young people who might not ordinarily be interested in conversations about science, technology, or digital privacy. So our goal was to make an interactive doc that had the silly, sarcastic, collaged aesthetic of a vlogger video — and our central tech trick — using AI to tell you secrets about yourself — was designed to function like one of those viral BuzzFeed personality quizzes.
Noah Levenson, Author
Stealing Ur Feelings is an augmented reality experience that reveals how apps like Snapchat can utilize facial emotion recognition technology to secretly collect data about your emotions to make decisions about your life and promote inequalities.
The experience premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival Immersive Arcade in 2019, appearing as a 46-inch display installed onto a pillar in the middle of the aisle separating other exhibits in a long rectangular room. There was a camera above the screen and a button below it to start the video, and participants of the experience stood in the middle of the aisle wearing headphones and watching the screen as emotion recognition technology analyzed their reactions to various images (examples of images shown include pizza and Kanye West).
The project was developed by Noah Levenson as an application for Mozilla’s 2018 award for art and advocacy exploring artificial intelligence. After winning the award, Stealing Ur Feelings was supported by a $50,000 grant from the NetGain partnership (a collaboration between Mozilla, MacArthur Foundation, Ford Foundation, Knight Foundation, and the Open Society Foundations).