Invite to OpenBCI artwork online launch (emotion detection)

RodRod Bristol. UK
edited June 29 in General Discussion

I’d like to invite the members of this forum (and esp @wjcroft) to the online launch of Nathan Semertzidis and I new artwork machine_in_the_middle at 5pm UK time tomorrow (30th).

We use an OpenBCI headset and ML built on top of Brainflow to detect the emotional state of World Champion Snooker Player Steve Davis (famous for never expressing any emotions). Then we animate his face into the expression that the machine thinks he is experiencing. (using EMS).

The online event includes a short address by Professor Sharon Tettegah (Emotions, Technology, and Social Media)

More details in the reply below. Hope to see you!


  • RodRod Bristol. UK

    ==more info==
    machine_in_the_middle is a new artwork and technology experiment by artist & lecturer Rod Dickinson and Brain Computer Interface (BCI) researcher Nathan Semertzidis, with World Snooker Champion Steve Davis.

    Davis was famous for his deadpan demeanor, never openly expressing any emotion during snooker tournaments and thus earning himself the nickname ‘The Romford Robot’.

    In machine_in_the_middle, Dickinson and Semertzidis use a BCI headset to stream Davis’ EEG (brainwaves) to a Machine Learning model that assesses Davis’ emotional state, and then, using Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS) animates his face into the expression that the machine thinks he is experiencing.

    Dickinson and Semertzidis’ artwork is loosely based on a well known type of cyber attack known as a ‘machine (or man) in the middle’ attack.

    Usually a “machine (or man)-in-the-middle” attack involves an attacker who secretly intercepts the electronic communication between two parties.
    In this case the two parties are the brain and the body of a single person, Steve Davis, and the ‘machine-in-the-middle’, is the EEG / AI / EMS system controlling the communication between Davis' brain and his facial expression.

    machine_in_the_middle renders visible a new kind of human-machine decision making process in what Louise Amoore calls a new kind of “we”, that sets "new limits and thresholds of what it means to be human" (Cloud Ethics, Amoore, 2020).

    The short film of machine_in_the_middle launches on June 30th online in Decoding Humans

    Decoding Humans is part of ‘The Downloadable Brain’ season of art events by Liverpool based Cognitive Sensations curated by Gabriella Warren-Smith.

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