Artist’s AI facial recognition project tracks Instagram users in real life via selfies

Next time you’re posing for an Instagram photo in public, don’t forget to smile for the numerous surveillance cameras in the area, too. “Followers” may be watching.

Belgian artist dry unloaderThe latest project from ‘Followers’ reveals how often people are being watched in public. And all he needs to track his social media goals in real life is a photo they post on Meta-owned Instagram​​​.

“One day, I saw a guy who took a 20-minute photo, and a day later I tried to find the photo on Instagram, but it didn’t work,” Depoorter told Mashable. “Then I started building [artificial intelligence] software. “

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Thanks to facial recognition software developed by Depoorter and live video from open cameras from public places around the world, the artist was able to find videos from Instagram users Prepare Take a photo of them that they later post on social media platforms​​. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at a funny Instagram image. More importantly, it shows how much information can be extracted from photos posted online.

The open camera Depoorter used for this project can be viewed on the site by anyone anywhere, e.g. earth camera. These cameras film people in public places around the world, seemingly unaware of those who are streaming.

of the project result It’s an eye-opening reminder that when you’re out in public, there’s a good chance it will be recorded. It also highlights how much information we unknowingly leak about our lives when we engage in social media.

In one Instagram photo, for example, a woman in a long jacket holds her white handbag and looks behind her as she poses in front of the Temple Bar in Dublin, Ireland. Depoorter was able to find a video of the woman in the photo, posing for a photo via an open surveillance camera located above the street and pointing at the corner where Temple Bar is located.

In another photo, two young men pose for an Instagram photo in Times Square in New York City. Depoorter was able to find a video of them walking down the street to a cameraman from a camera above Times Square.

Seeing these types of Instagrammers ready for their perfect shot was the inspiration for Depoorter to create “Followers” in the first place. Although he admits that tracking these Instagram users isn’t as simple as sitting down and letting his AI software scour open camera footage for a match.

“Finding the people in the video. It’s very difficult,” Depoorter said.

While “Followers” is new to Depoorter, the artist has been making art projects with open cameras for years. For example, in 2018 he launched his “Jaywalking Frames” project. Using “unprotected surveillance cameras and custom software,” Depoorter takes snapshots of jaywalkers in cities around the world.

Another project, Flemish Scroll, launched last year, uses artificial intelligence software to track live broadcasts of Belgian politicians at Flemish parliamentary meetings. AI will scan politicians on live video feeds using their smartphones, Automatically tag them via Twitterand shouted out that they were distracted.

As disturbing as Depoorter’s AI art project spying on Instagram users or politicians on livestreams, they have there is nothing About the type of surveillance that the government or big tech companies can use to track him, you, or anyone else.

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For example, the notorious facial recognition company Clearview AI has made headlines in recent years for its eerie ability to spot and track individuals from databases of tens of billions of public images scraped across the Sold It serves law enforcement across the country.

“In all my work, I try to show the dangers of new technology,” Depoorter said. “I’m just someone with limited access to data and cameras. Imagine what a government or private organization could do.”

‘Followers’ offers us all an important reminder in this digital age: Let’s say you’re being watched all the time.

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