JUDGE DREDD OF THE INTERNET the Mozilla Foundation has said it believes Snapchat and Instagram could be using artificial intelligence (AI) to read our emotions.
The not-for-profit has produced a six-minute augmented reality film called 'Stealing Ur Feelings' (yes, we know, a terrible name). The documentary shows how, if left unchecked and unregulated, AI could be used to do everything from upsell products to bring down democracy.
Mozilla believes that Snapchat is already using the tech, given that a year has passed since it filed a patent for it. At the end of SUF, as the cool kids are calling it, you're invited to take a photo and sign a petition to force Snapchat to ‘fess up. You can only sign the petition when it detects a smile.
At the same time, you'll also get a reading of how Mozilla's AI 'sees' you, making assumptions about intelligence and income.
"Facial recognition is the perfect tool to extract even more data from us, all the time, everywhere — even when we're not scrolling, typing, or clicking," said Noah Levenson, the New York-based artist and engineer who created Stealing Ur Feelings.
"Set against the backdrop of Cambridge Analytica and the digital privacy scandals rocking today's news, I wanted to create a fast, darkly funny, dizzying unveiling of the ‘fun secret feature' lurking behind our selfies." Levenson just became a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Resident Fellow on artificial intelligence.
The film is the latest in a series of projects produced with grants from the Mozilla Creative Media Award, which funded ‘SUF to the tune of $50,000.
The film has had limited theatrical screenings, including the Camden International Film Festival and at the Tate Modern.
The advocacy projects are another example of Mozilla's desire to transcend being just ‘the Firefox people' and act as a kind of Switzerland of the internet. µ
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