Guest Lecture: | Automated surveillance, ‘intelligent’ computer vision and a world of hidden human labour

Interface Cultures Invited Lectures Series
Special series on Critical Data

Friday, 4th of December, 2020 // 11:00 – 12:00

The talk will take place online on Microsoft Teams.
To participate, please contact

Machine vision technologies, such as object recognition, facial recognition and emotion detection, are increasingly used to turn images into information, filter it and make predictions and inferences. In the past years these technologies have made rapid advances in accuracy.

The reasons for current developments are: the revival of neural networks enabling machine learning from observing data, access to massive amounts of data to train neural networks, and increased processing power. This naturally causes excitement among innovators who are implementing these technologies.

In the world of automated surveillance new machine vision techniques are developed to spot suspicious behavior without human supervision. What is considered suspicious in one cultural context might be normal in another, hence, developers admit, “it’s challenging to match that information to ‘suspicious’ behavior”.

Nevertheless, the surveillance industry is developing “smart” cameras to detect abnormal behavior to detect and prevent unsought activities. Moreover the current covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the development of computer vision applications, tracing new forms of dubious behavior.

KairUs is a collective of two artists Linda Kronman (Finland) and Andreas Zingerle (Austria). They explore topics such as vulnerabilities in IoT devices, corporatization of city governance in Smart Cities and citizen sensitive projects in which technology is used to reclaim control of our living environments.