The Singularity

Description (in English): 

The Singularity is a web-based AI narrative system that demonstrates the ethical issues, hidden biases and misbehavior of emerging technologies such as machine learning, face tracking and big data. The system tracks users' eye positions through a webcam, and continuously feeds users directly into their eyes with infinite Reddit posts containing the latest progress in AI along with random news and ads. By visualizing eye trajectories over time, it suggests possible misuses and dangers of all-pervasive data tracking. The near-invisible operations underpinning the technologies could bring visible and fundamental changes to the society, leading the world to a "technological singularity" in which technology governs all aspects of human society. This work consists of three sub-systems:

  1. Infinite news feed system: The system continually scrapes article titles of latest posts about artificial intelligence and technological singularity from subreddit r/singularity ( and r/artificial ( The seemingly uni-directional information flow of news feed is actually bi-directional - user activities are fed back to the machine like in an echo room. Two parallel streams of texts on the screen marks the co-evolution of users and machine systems driven by day-to-day browsing activities.
  2. Face-tracking surveillance system: Real-time face tracking algorithm is implemented with ml5js (, a machine learning library that runs in the browser. The face position and the degree that the face turns from the webcam are tracked. The direction of floating sentences always points towards users' eyes. When the user looks away by turning the head, the texts will twist and wiggle as if responding to and disobeying user movement. Such suspicious interaction signifies the disobedience of machines and behavior manipulation by malicious algorithms.
  3. Data collection and replay system: User's face movement is also recorded, reshaped and replayed by the system. The trajectory of user interaction is visually represented by intertwining curves drawn on top of the texts. When user is absent from the webcam, the visual artifacts become fully visible and reveal those data that have been secretly collected in the background, arousing concerns of user privacy violation in insecure web systems.



Screen shots: 
The Singularity
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Record posted by: 
Rebekka Ruud Rostrup