Open webcams see you posing for that Instagram photo

AI is tracking your Instagram photo shoots.
surveillance camera on building


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Who needs horror films to scare us when we’re already living in a very real (and deeply unsettling) digital age?

You may want to think twice about geotagging that selfie, as there’s now an AI software that searches public camera feeds against Instagram posts to find where someone’s photo was taken at the exact moment. Chills

The software, creepily and appropriately dubbed ‘The Follower,’ is Belgian artist Dries Depoorter’s most recent project. The AI system that he programmed thoroughly searches open-access camera footage across the globe and then cross-checks the footage with Instagram photos, looking for perfect matches. 

Depoorter told VICE, “The idea popped in my head when I watched an open camera and someone was taking pictures for like 30 minutes.” Curious if he could find that person on Instagram, he trained an AI to scan the footage and match it up with influencers with over 100k followers; eventually finding success. 

Depoorter classifies himself as part of a new generation of artists that work with technology, stating “If you check out all my work you can see I show the dangers of new technology.”

Art is and always will be subjective, but capturing photos of people in this way is another reminder that we are living in a new age where technology is stepping further into our private lives — and it may not always be up to us.

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