It has been more than a month of working from home. What does your life look like now? Staying at home,  sitting on the same chair and wearing the same shirt everyday?  Take a snap and see your at-home portrait from another perspective through facial recognition.


Facial Recognition?
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Thesis Statement

As a Graphic Design and Computer Science dual degree student, I’m always trying to think about the ethics of technology from the
perspective of designer, or a normal person who knows little about it.

We live in surveillance. Countless cameras are watching us walking, talking, and living in our "private" lives. People block the cameras on the laptop; states banned the use of facial recognition by agencies. My computer science class and internship that taught me the algorithms and applications to peep at people's lives through cameras make me feel worse. However, is facial recognition really that evil? Can banning technology solve the problem? For the thesis, I will explore various aspects of artificial intelligence and discuss the trust crisis brought by the technology.

Through researches about facial recognition in real-life situations and artworks, I learned opinions from different perspectives. The AI technology can be the devil that censors the public and minority. However, it can also be the opposite that improves life quality and protects people, especially during this pandemic period. Technology is innocent. The outcome depends on who uses it and how it is used. In the show, I will build an interactive website that enables the audience to explore facial recognition by oneself. The audience can upload or use the webcam to take an image, and the website will return an abstract computer-generated portrait based on it. The elements in the portrait will build a visual system that gives an objective description of the user during the lockdown. It is designed to be a warm and encouraging experience for people who have stayed at home for months. It also aims to provide another perspective to people about AI technology.

>>Thesis Process Book

Special thanks to Microsoft Azure and Xiaoxin Gan
for the technical support.

© 2021 Yian Zhao