For Now We See through an AI Darkly; but Then Face-to-Face: A Brief Survey of Emotion Recognition in Biometric Art

Devon Schiller


Our knowledge about the facial expression of emotion may well be entering an age of scientific revolution. Conceptual models for facial behavior and emotion phenomena appear to be undergoing a paradigm shift brought on at least in part by advances made in facial recognition technology and automated facial expression analysis. And the use of technological labor by corporate, government, and institutional agents for extracting data capital from both the static morphology of the face and dynamic movement of the emotions is accelerating. Through a brief survey, the author seeks to introduce what he terms biometric art, a form of new media art on the cutting-edge between this advanced science and technology about the human face. In the last ten years, an increasing number of media artists in countries across the globe have been creating such biometric artworks. And today, awards, exhibitions, and festivals are starting to be dedicated to this new art form. The author explores the making of this biometric art as a critical practice in which artists investigate the roles played by science and technology in society, experimenting, for example, with Basic Emotions Theory, emotion artificial intelligence, and the Facial Action Coding System. Taking a comprehensive view of art, science, and technology, the author surveys the history of design for biometric art that uses facial recognition and emotion recognition, the individuals who create such art and the institutions that support it, as well as how this biometric art is made and what it is about. By so doing, the author contributes to the history, practice, and theory for the facial expression of emotion, sketching an interdisciplinary area of inquiry for further and future research, with relevance to academicians and creatives alike who question how we think about what we feel.

Słowa kluczowe: affective computing, artificial intelligence, Basic Emotion Theory, emotion recognition, Facial Action Coding System, facial expression of emotion, facial recognition, biometrics, media art, physiognomy

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