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Software That Tracks Politicians Staring at Mobile’s

The latest project of the Belgian digital artist Dries Deporter is “The Flemish Scrollers”, software that monitors and shows when one of the representatives of the Belgian government stops actively following the session and starts looking at his mobile phone.

The analysis is done live on the videos that are streamed on the YouTube channel Vlaams Parlement, so that artificial intelligence recognizes the faces of the politicians in the recordings, and the software searches them and assesses whether they are looking at the phones. It works with the help of machine learning, so it recognizes the character of the politician and his activity. If at some point he starts looking at the phone, the software sends a short video on his Twitter and Instagram profiles and tags the politician. But he can not notice exactly what the politician is doing on the cell phone, so he can not say whether he is using it for a productive purpose in the discussion.

Most often the first thought is that politicians abuse the mobile for entertainment and private correspondence, but there is always the possibility that they catch remarks or search for some information presented. However, as a result of using the software, which has been active since last July, Deporter believes that the use of phones in meetings has decreased.

The digital artist deals with topics such as privacy, artificial intelligence, monitoring and social networking. He created the tool to show how technologies such as artificial intelligence, face recognition and surveillance cameras work are a violation of privacy. But later it began to function as a tool for more productive work of government officials.

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