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_Stealing Ur Feelings

An augmented reality experience that reveals how your favorite apps can use facial emotion recognition technology to secretly collect data about your emotions.

2019 Noah Levenson
EN Visit the project

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).

Project at a Glance :

Language : EN
Country : United States
Year : 2019
Author : Noah Levenson
Producer : Bronx River Adventures
Team : Ana Sanchez,Brett Gaylor,David Acampora,Nelson Van Hoe
Developers : Noah Levenson
Designers : Asher Levenson
Topics : Artificial Intelligence,Digital Privacy,Digital Technology,Facial Emotion Recognition,Nature and Ecology,Privacy and Surveillance
Technologies : face-api.js,Phaser
Techniques : Facial Emotion Recognition,Image Processing,Installation,Web AR
Budget Range : $40K (spent),$96K (in-kind developer hours)
Funders AND Incubators : Ford Foundation,Knight Foundation,MacArthur Foundation,Mozilla,Open Society Foundations
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