Artificial Intelligence: AI Nabs Belgian Politicians Using Phones On Public Time

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The AI software identifies politicians using phones during livestreams of the meetings of the Belgian government.

Dries Depoorter, a Belgium artist who handles themes such as privacy, artificial intelligence, surveillance & social media, is using artificial intelligence (AI) to scan the live streams on YouTube of meetings of the Flemish government. Using machine learning and facial recognition, Depoorter’s software picks out politicians distracted by their mobile phones. (Newshub)

Depoorter’s The Flemish Scrollers

Titled “The Flemish Scrollers,” the software automatically tags Belgian politicians when they use their phones with the help of AI. It was launched on July 5, 2021.

“Every meeting of the Flemish government in Belgium is live streamed on a YouTube channel,” writes Depoorter. “When a livestream starts the software is searching for phones and tries to identify a distracted politician. This is done with the help of AI and face recognition. The video of the distracted politician is then posted to a Twitter and Instagram account with the politician tagged.”

If there is no live meeting, the software circles back to older uploaded videos on the same YouTube channel and continues its mission to name and shame mobile-obsessed politicians.

In a July 6 update Depoorter said he had uploaded the project just 20 hours ago and “never received this amount of reaction.”

Twitter shaming

Here is an example of the Twitter admonition served up by Depoorter’s software The Flemish Scrollers:

Politicians and boring meetings

Politicians have frequently been caught using their phones during official meetings – some were even watching porn.

Takuya Hirai, a member of Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party, was photographed watching a video of a crocodile on his tablet in May last year. Unsurprisingly, the video was not at all related to the meeting’s topic, which was about the retirement age for prosecutors.

Said one Japanese netizen: “I’m just glad he wasn’t watching porn!”

Related Story:  Banjo, the Startup That is Utah’s All-Seeing Eye-in-the-Sky

Image Credit:  Dries Depoorter / The Flemish Scrollers

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