Xtra - rp18 side events
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English
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Smile to Vote - Political Physiognomy Analytics

Short thesis

The media art installation portrays the fictitious Govtech startup Smile to Vote and its cutting edge product with the same name: an ultra efficient e-voting booth. By means of AI-based facial scanning, the voting booth gages the political conviction of any given person and emulates the process of digitally casting a vote at the upcoming 2019 EU Parliament elections by simply looking into a camera. Learn more about the project as well as other interesting use cases at smiletovote.com.

- WARDROBE -

Description

Against the backdrop of currently trending AI-driven political campaigns, Smile to Vote escalates the latest research findings in the field of Psychometrics and merges them with the worry-free big scale implementation of facial recognition systems in life style products and daily business processes. The conceptual media art piece portrays the fictitious GovTech startup Smile to Vote and its cutting edge product with the same name: an ultra efficient evoting booth.

By means of AI-based facial scanning, the voting booth gages the political conviction of any given person and emulates the process of digitally casting a vote at the upcoming 2019 EU Parliament elections by simply looking into a camera. The work addresses the religiously recited aspirations of global IT companies of turning the world into a better place by way of their products, as well as their apparent believe in a superhuman objectivity of algorithmical decision making.

Interaction with the Smile to Vote - voting booth translates the complex ramifications of delegating decision making to IT systems into an aesthetic experience, and therefore makes these ramifications immediately perceptible and intuitively comprehensible for the recipient. The work confronts us with the implications for political processes as well as for our understanding of self-determination and freedom of will, once privacy is phased out for good and predictability of our very behavior through IT systems becomes ubiquitous.

The installation is accompanied by a website which subtly oscillates between the plausible and the fantastical. The website smiletovote.com portrays the fictitious GovTech startup Smile to Vote while casting an ironic spotlight on the currently hyped IT startup culture and its delusional feasibility phantasies, which seemingly have been decoupled from ethical and moral groundings.