Inspired by global unrest, Riot utilizes artificial intelligence, film and gaming technologies to help unpick how people react in stressful situations
An immersive film project is attempting to understand how people react in stressful situations by using artificial intelligence( AI ), film and gaming technologies to place participants inside a simulated riot and then detecting their emotions in real time.
Called Riot, the project is the result of a collaboration between awarding winning multidisciplinary immersive filmmaker Karen Palmer and Professor Hongying Meng from Brunel University. The two have worked together previously on Syncself2, a dynamic interactive video installing.
Riot was inspired by global unrest, and was specifically inspired by Palmers experience of watching live footage of the Ferguson protests in 2015. I felt a big sense of annoyance, rage and helplessness. I needed to create a piece of work that would encourage dialogue around these types of social issues. Riots all over the world now seem to be[ the] last sort of[ community] expression, she said.
Whereas Syncself2 used an EEG headset to place the user in the action, with Riot Palmer wanted to try and achieve a more seamless interface. Hongying and I discussed AI and facial recognition; the tech came from creating an experience which simulated a riot it needed to be as though you were there.
Designed as an immersive social digital experience, the objective is to get through a simulated riot alive. This is achieved through interacting with a variety of characters who can help you reach home. The video narrative is controlled by the emotional state of the user, which is monitored through AI software in real hour.
Machine learning is the key technology for feeling detection systems. From the dataset collected from audiences, AI techniques are used to learn from the data and build the computational model which can be integrated into the interactive film system and see the emotions in real-time, explained Meng.
The programme in development at Brunel can read seven emotions, but not all are appropriate for the experience created by the Riot team. Currently, Riots pilot interface can recognise three emotional state: anxiety, rage and pacify.