Cheese !

Christian Moeller, professor in the design/media arts department at UCLA, is putting together an art project for an exhibition in April 2003, sponsored by Caltech. The idea is to film persons who smile, and "rate" the sincerity of the smile. No hypocritical smile any more, this will be detected !

The software to perform the "rating" is developed by the machine perception lab at UC San Diego. They have developed a program that recognizes faces, based on a support vector machines architecture. After recognition of a face, the program tracks it, and calculates the degree of certain emotions present in each image: anger, happiness... seven emotions can be currently detected. Their present setup uses those emotions to animate an artificial figure. This same program will be trained on smiling faces, in order to grade the sincerity of the smile.

Other people involved in this project are Behn, collaborator of Christian, Sean, software engineer with The Culture Industry, and myself, PhD student at Caltech. We drove to San Diego to meet the vision people there, and see a demo of their software.

Josh, who programmed the current UCSD setup
the emotions found are used to animate this figure
here is the face recognition part
yeah, it works on me !
what emotions are displayed now ?
here is Christian
Gwen from UCSD
this is Christian's database of smiles
apparently Christian likes nice actresses !
about 800 women applied for the video sessions...
but he selected only 8 of them;
they will have to smile during 3 hours
I wonder how the program is going to perform...
maybe it will work, with white teeth and lipstick
Sean, Josh and Marni
Christian is trying the system
Sean, Marni, Josh
Behn took some video