“Dear distracted Jan Gambon, please stay focused!Yesterday, the account of The Flemish Scrollers suddenly appeared on Twitter and Instagram, where videos of Flemish politicians were shared. These are nuggets in which ministers or MPs in one hemisphere stare at their mobile phones. In addition to the Flemish Prime Minister, Minister Bart Sommers (Open Vld) and Member of Parliament Peter Van Rompuy (CD&V) were among the first victims.
It’s a project by tech artist Dries Depoorter, who wants to educate people about the impact technology has on our lives in a playful way. For example, the app was launched a few years ago die with meA chat room that you can only use if you have less than 5 percent of your battery left. The app shows how much we rely on technology.
This time Deporter wants to make us aware of the dangers of artificial intelligence. He has developed a special program that constantly monitors the YouTube stream of the Flemish Parliament. “Once the software detects the phone, it looks at the nearest face. The facial recognition is then used to identify it,” Deporter explains. Then the snippet is automatically published online.
Shortly after its launch, the project sparked discussion on social media. Isn’t it reasonable for a politician to check the phone from time to time? Doesn’t this fuel anti-politics? “I definitely don’t want to target anyone,” Deporter himself says. At the same time, there are also many positive feedback, because in the Flemish hemisphere the use of the phone sometimes causes irritation. In 2019, there was still a buzz when Jambon played the popular game Angry birds He was playing during the debate.
Politicians have been warned, because the program will get smarter and smarter. “In a few months, we can work more accurately,” Deporter says. “For example, we can also detect the typical scrolling movement people make when they’re on social media.”