Clément Lambelet


Happiness is the only true emotion

Every photo you post on Facebook or Instagram is checked by an algorithm that recognises your emotions. How would you react if you knew that this process is essentially flawed? With the rapid development of artificial intelligence, systems capable of recognising and interpreting human emotions are spreading throughout our society. In Happiness is the only true emotion, I deconstruct this new phenomenon of population control. It is a criticism of the generalisation of obscure algorithms that is present on social networks, in shopping malls or airports.

The body of this work is the hijacking of a series of portraits created by Stirling University in Scotland. Each of the actors in this database plays out the six “universal human emotions”. I selected one expression per subject and cropped the photographs to retain only the face. Then I subjectively modified the images in order to make these surfaces even more expressive. These portraits become vectors of emotions. In order to test the efficiency of current algorithms, each source image was submitted to Microsoft’s Face API, a leading algorithm in the field. The system only recognised happiness with certainty.

Clément Lambelet, born in 1991

©Clément Lambelet

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