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Belgian Artist Creates Instagram Surveillance Tool

The latest project from artist Dries Depoorter is called “The Follower”, and it’s a frightening glimpse into the world of public surveillance.

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belgian artist creates instagram surveillance tool
Twitter (@DriesDepoorter)

How often have you or your friends posed for an Instagram photo in public? Whether you’re on vacation or fooling around outside your favorite restaurant, we’re guessing the answer is most likely “a lot”. Well, if that’s the case, you might just end up as a subject in artist Dries Depoorter’s latest project, called “The Follower”.

The sinister-sounding creation was born after Depoorter noticed someone taking a lot of public Instagram shots:

“One day, I saw a person taking photos for like 20 minutes, and I was trying to find them on Instagram a day later without much success. That’s when I started building the software,” says Depoorter.

Thanks to the facial recognition software built by Depoorter, which crawls through footage from open webcams live streaming in public spaces, he quickly found a video of the Instagrammer in question when he posted shots onto the Meta-owned platform later that day.

The project is a fascinating (and terrifying) glimpse into how much information can be gathered using modern software — especially as the artist only had access to publicly available cameras. Depoorter’s work highlights the sheer scale of the world’s surveillance network and the enormous volumes of data we give away daily for AI bots to analyze.

Also Read: How To Permanently Delete Your Instagram Account

Depoorter has a history of projects like “The Follower”. In 2021, he created a similar piece of software that scanned the live streams of Flemish government meetings, using AI to search for politicians scrolling through their smartphones out of apparent boredom. The project was known as “The Flemish Scrollers” and automatically tagged the targets via Twitter.

As Depoorter points out, he isn’t the only one with access to these cameras, and it’s genuinely scary to imagine the surveillance tools the world’s government agencies have at their disposal. Next time you take selfies in a public place, check over your shoulder — you might be being watched!

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Lebanese Newspaper Builds AI President To Beat Political Crisis

The move by media outlet AnNahar comes after 13 failed attempts by the Lebanese parliament to elect a new leader.

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lebanese newspaper builds ai president to beat political crisis
OurPresident.ai

In a world first, Lebanon’s AnNahar Newspaper has built an artificial intelligence model designed to carry out presidential duties for the politically troubled country. Lebanon has been without a sitting president for two years after thirteen failed attempts by the nation’s parliament to elect a suitable candidate.

The new AI President’s deep learning algorithm was fed over 90 years of impartial journalism from AnNahar’s archive stretching back to the 1930s. The AI leader analyzes not only historical data but also current events and is able to formulate solutions for all manner of political, legal, and governmental questions. By tapping into such a vast knowledge base, Lebanon’s AI President will have a deep understanding of the country’s past, as well as an unbiased take on the challenges the nation faces going forward.

lebanon our president ai platform annahar

The new AI President was unveiled in a recent live broadcast. Nayla Tueni, editor-in-chief of AnNahar Newspaper conducted an interview with the digital leader, asking relevant questions about the current state of Lebanon, and how to fix the country’s difficult political situation. AnNahar has also converted its print newspaper to focus entirely on the new president’s guidance on issues spanning everything from the economy to sustainability and the environment.

Also Read: Abu Dhabi To Develop $1 Billion eSports Island Facility

After the interview, Nayla Tueni commented: “As Lebanese people, and especially at AnNahar, we refuse to sit back and allow things to go on as they have. To not have a president for this long is unacceptable and has impacted the country negatively. If the parliament will not do its job to elect a president, then the people will bring to Lebanon a president”.

The AI President will soon be accessible to everyone at OurPresident.ai, Users will be able to ask questions in a similar manner to the likes of ChatGPT and Google Gemini. It is also understood that government officials will also use the tool to help devise new directives.

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