Algorithmic gaze: Automating our decision-making capabilities.


After spending many hours trying to articulate the perfect project concept that would appropriately communicate the research I’ve done thus far, I stumbled onto an idea that I think gets to the heart of what I’m trying to understand about computer vision. Namely, how might algorithms of the future use visual information to draw conclusions about you? And what are the consequences of ceding over our decision-making capabilities to a computer?

Here’s the quick and dirty elevator pitch for the game:

What happens when we let a computer make decisions on our behalf? ALGORITHMIC GAZE is an interactive web-based choose-your-own adventure game that makes personalized decisions for you based on a neural network trained on a collection of images. The project anticipates and satirizes a world in which we cede decision-making authority over to our computers.

I plan to build a low-fidelity game in three.js and WebGL. At the start of the game, the user will upload a handful of pictures and enter information about herself. Then, she will be guided through three different scenarios/scenes, in which there are objects with which she can interact. Each object will prompt a moment of decision: Let me decide or let the computer decide for me.

The program will use the images uploaded by the user to make decisions on behalf of the user. By tapping into a machine learning API, the program will use object recognition, sentiment analysis, facial recognition, and color analysis to make certain conclusions about the user’s preferences. The decisions made on behalf of the user may prompt illogical or surprising outcomes.

A storyboard of the experience:

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Here’s what the basic decision tree will look like as you move through each scene.


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