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wo 14 okt

The Hmm on… Facial Recognition

Onderdeel van Me, Myself & A.I.

Me, Myself & A.I.

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Ticket includes a drink/Ticket inclusief drankje

Amazing selfies with the newest Insta filter? Hell yeah. Scanning my face to unlock my phone? Chill. But wait: what am I giving up privacy-wise?

We all want pretty selfies and a smooth relationship with our devices. Facial recognition software is integrated into our lives more than we even know. We’re embracing these tools when they’re fun and practical, but when is it not okay? Tonight The Hmm, platform for internet cultures, explores what we’re actually giving up when all these devices scan our face.

Imagine this – a Google for faces. By typing in your name, all the selfies you’ve ever uploaded on the internet, including your old (and, let’s face it, embarrassing) Hyves photos, show up. Imagine police and law enforcement agencies using that software to track down criminals, without being sure if the technology really works. This dystopian scenario already has become reality. Furthermore: Amsterdam is installing smart cameras on the city’s canals and the EU recently dropped a proposal for the regulation of face recognition in public spaces.

So yes, we loved the gender swap filter and had a good laugh. But do we realise just how sneaky Big Tech companies use these ‘fun’ features as a way to train their software, and to make us familiar with the technique? Why do we easily give up our privacy for an Instagram filter, but does it feel creepy when our face is being tracked in a public space? How is it possible that we usually don’t even know that our face is registered while doing groceries? And if the law doesn’t help us, is there another way to protect ourselves? These questions are exactly what we’ll answer tonight.

Our guests tonight are Lotte Houwing (researcher Bits of Freedom), Bogomir Doringer (artist and curator) and Meike Schipper (Waag). This program is English-spoken.

The Hmm on…

We’re using face filters to make ourselves prettier, track our daily steps on our iPhones, and rely on Google Maps to find our destination. But what exactly is the impact of these technologies? With this series, organised by The Hmm, a platform for internet cultures, we reflect on these playful, serious, and sometimes disturbing developments in internet culture.

Loving this event? Keep an eye on our calendar for more The Hmm at Felix Meritis!

Nederlandse tekst

We willen allemaal mooie selfies en een vlotte relatie met onze apparaten. Gezichtsherkenningssoftware is meer aanwezig in ons leven dan dat we ons bewust zijn. We omarmen deze tools wanneer ze leuk en praktisch zijn, maar wanneer is het niet oké? Vanavond onderzoekt The Hmm, platform voor internetcultuur, wat we eigenlijk opgeven als al deze apparaten ons gezicht scannen.

Dus ja: we hielden allemaal van de gender swap filter, waar we eens goed mee konden lachen. Maar beseffen we hoe stiekeme Big Tech-bedrijven deze ‘leuke’ functies gebruiken als een manier om hun software te trainen en ons vertrouwd te maken met de techniek? Waarom geven we gemakkelijk onze privacy op voor een Instagram-filter, maar voelt het eng wanneer ons gezicht wordt gescand in de openbare ruimte? Hoe is het mogelijk dat we meestal niet weten dat ons gezicht is geregistreerd tijdens het doen van boodschappen? En als de wet ons niet helpt, is er een andere manier om onszelf te beschermen? Deze vragen zijn precies wat we vanavond zullen beantwoorden.

Onze gasten vanavond zijn Lotte Houwing (onderzoeker Bits of Freedom), Bogomir Doringer (kunstenaar en curator) en Meike Schipper (Waag). Dit programma is Engels gesproken.


Lotte Houwing

As a policy advisor and researcher at Bits of Freedom, Lotte focuses primarily on the power relations between the state and its citizens, with a special eye on facial recognition. In her opinion, biometric surveillance tech in private space should be banned. Tonight she will talk about surveillance as a sorting mechanism and what this means for society, how we train our own spies by the use of certain apps, and why we should stop it. here.

Bogomir Doringer

Bogomir is an artist and curator who researched the rise of face-covering in our society after 9/11, with his longterm art project and exhibition Faceless. Tonight, he will shed a light on the social and historical perspective of facial recognition technologies. For more info check here.

Meike Schipper

Meike is a researcher, writer and creator who’s currently working as a communicator at Waag. In 2019, she graduated at the New Media & Digital Culture department of University Utrecht with a research exploring how face filters transform the practice of selfie creation. Meike will explore whether face filters give us more freedom for expression and the potential for multiple identities. For more info check here.