Since the moment I walked into Milford Photo looking to buy a professional camera in the winter of 2011, I have been exposed to constant judgment for being a rich, stupid and spoiled 13-year-old who wanted an expensive camera to take “artsy” pictures that I didn’t know how to take.
Contrary to society’s beliefs, I do not fit into that stereotype in any way, shape or form. Unfortunately, I am associated with this stereotype because that is the view society chooses to observe and overplay.
Have you heard of the term sousveillance? It’s the inverse of surveillance: instead of a camera pointed at individuals, individuals wear their own cameras on themselves to document their activities. Wearable-camera pioneer Steve Mann has written a fascinating piece for Time, titled “Eye Am a Camera: Surveillance and Sousveillance in the Glassage“, in which he offers his vision of what the future will look like once wearable cameras such as Google Glass (seen above) become ubiquitous.
Professor and self-proclaimed cyborg Steve Mann created an eye and memory-aid device he calls the EyeTap Digital Glass. The EyeTap, worn by Mann above on the left, is a wearable device that is similar to Google Eye, pictured right, but he’s been making them at home since the 1980s. The goal of his project is to use images to aid memory, or even to augment the memories of people with Alzheimer’s Disease or who simply want to preserve their memories more permanently. However, a recent misunderstanding over Mann’s technology allegedly caused a confrontation between Mann and several employees at a Paris McDonald’s restaurant.
Filmmaker Jesse Rosten created this satirical commercial for Fotoshop by Adobé with the tagline “This commercial isn’t real, neither are society’s standards of beauty.” It’s a humorous response to how the beauty industry has distorted our society’s perception of beauty through ubiquitous Photoshopping. The video may or may not be work safe, depending on where you work.
Facial recognition features are appearing in everything from cameras to photo-sharing sites, but have you thought about the different security and privacy concerns it introduces? Fast Company has published a piece on how mobile apps in the future may be able to quickly look up your identity, your personal information, and perhaps even your social security number!
[CMU researchers] used three relatively simple technologies to create their face recognition system: An off-the-shelf face recognizer, cloud computing processing, and personal data available through the public feed at social networking sites such as Facebook [...] Combining the data gathered from the face recognizer hardware with clever search algorithms that were processed on a cloud-computing platform, the team has performed three powerful experiments: They were able to “unmask” people on a popular dating site where it’s common to protect real identities using pseudonyms, and they ID’d students walking in public on campus by grabbing their profile photos from Facebook.
Most impressively the research algorithm tried to predict personal interests and even to deduce the social security number of CMU students based solely on an image of their face–by interrogating deeper into information that’s freely available online.
You might want to invest in a pair of censorship sunglasses after all!
Your Face Is Your Key [Fast Company]
Image credit: Face Detection Example (Bogdan and Anne) by mr. ‘sto
We’ve already got plenty of gadgets designed to facilitate photography: there’s auto-focus, face detection, and some crazy features in Photoshop that can effortlessly add and remove entire elements (and people) in photographs. So now why not have a camera that tells you whether you’re taking an aesthetically pleasing photograph?
Designer Andrew Kupresanin created this project camera that utilizes the Aesthetic Quality Inference Engine Acquine to judge photo quality even before you take a photograph. The screen in the back of the camera simply shows a percentage rating, in lieu of an LCD display. The camera is actually a Nokia N73 camera connected with a Mac over Bluetooth. Kupresanin seems to be using his experimental project to make a poignant statement about the automation of photography and aesthetics. Kupresanin says on his site:
Within pop culture and society artificial intelligence has been a topic that is approached with hope, fear, cynicism, curiosity and caution. However many intelligent devices have already been effortlessly absorbed into our culture and everyday lives.