Italian Design Studio introduces the ‘Neural Mirror’

In a new article from Engadget’s Steve Dent, an Italian Studio called Ultravioletto has created a new mirror that lets you see yourself the way Corporations do, as a collection of data points. The Installation of the Neural Mirror was set up at the Church of the Manna d’Oro, a renaissance-styled Church that was built in 1527 to thank the Virgin Mary after the city had skirted the violence that eventually led to the Sack of Rome by the mutinous Lansquenets.

©Cristina Vatielli for Ultravioletto

It may seem like an ordinary mirror, but after you’ve been scanned and processed, the system estimating your age, sex, and emotional state; then the machine shows an image of its vision of the machine’s idea of what you look like. Ultravioletto used some of the most interesting technology to create the installation, the “Mirror” is actually an OLED panel with a reflective coating that acts as both mirror and a display; along with a depth-sensing camera. Then it generates a ‘Matrix-like’ doppelganger of the viewer while printing and displaying data of their ethnicity, facial geometry, facial expressions and more. Ultravioletto’s Bruno Capezzuoli had this to say about their new mirror to Dezeen:

“The amazing thing is that these technologies are available for everybody.”

Bruno Capezzuoli, Ultravioletto

The end result is really dramatic, in this video as you can see up above, you first see your true reflection; followed by a digital version of you that is quickly assembled by the system. When moving your hands, your body or your face the artificial version moves along with you, while the AI system chooses the colors and style for the image based on the data that it captures; meanwhile the Printed Data is presented in JSON JavaScript-type code. You may be thinking “This sounds like it is stealing my personal information to create this image of me! When when you realize, Yes, that sums it up perfectly.

“Artificial intelligence extracts all of our behaviors in a shady way then transforms them into a form of wealth for corporations. Here this process is well declared and explained to the user. They can see in real time what kind of data we are capturing.”

Bruno Capezzuoli, Ultravioletto

Unlike companies like Facebook and Google, it is upfront and will not be using your data for commerce, since it is set up in the Church the installation is supposed to make you reflect on the use of invasive technology in the modern age.

“For us it remains as bare knowledge, not refined, the beauty of data as data, with no interpretation.”

Bruno Capezzuoli, Ultravioletto