Realeyes is a commercial platform that performs real-time measurement of emotional responses to video stimuli through facial recognition AI modeling. Using (with consent, for now) the intake of webcam feeds, the platform records and analyzes the shape of facial responses while a subject watches a video, telling advertisers and marketers how to more effectively reach a consumer’s core sense of decision-making. Founded at Oxford University in 2007, Realeyes shares some traits with the now-famous Cambridge Analytica company, deriving actionable and expensive) data from the aggregated emotional reactions of thousands of users. This stunningly benign-seeming white paper lays out the psychological and neural-network background for the company’s commercial services. Triteness may make the cliché, but here the video is indeed watching you back, and it is recording every fractional twinge of facial muscle and every squint of the eye, parsing your confusion from your deflation, your enthusiasm from your eagerness. The better it knows you, the better it knows how to make you want things, and the better it helps others to sell them to you.

This entry is included in Library Stack as part of the house collection Reality Winners.

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