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Face Detector

Collaborators: Meghana Tummala, Christian Wong

Face :Detector, originally hosted at Milk & Froth (a Detroit ice cream parlor) and part of the 2021 Detroit Month of Design, was an interactive installation that invites you to explore the computation, hidden assumptions, statistical calculations, and potential biases of artificial intelligence by, well, making you smile. Happy? Surprised? Angry? This experimental installation used facial recognition technology and algorithms to measure your affect and respond to your emotions in real-time. Based on your mood, various interactions would take place while you enjoy your scoop of ice cream. Yet, behind the sweet outer facade of this installation, we engaged with the moral questions of the use of this type of data. We revealed the different ways facial recognition technology can be used to measure and profile individ uals and the ambiguities involved in their use. Through this experiment, we hoped to engage visitors in a conversation about the opportunities, biases, and ethical questions around the public use of artificial intelligence and facial recognition, particularly as the citizens of Detroit debate Project Greenlight and as these technologies become more embedded in our cities and everyday lives.

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