Belgian digital artist called Dries Depoorter launched earlier this month an AI bot called “The Flemish Scrollers” that automatically catches, and tags members of the Federal Parliament glued to their phones during parliamentary proceedings.
Using artificial intelligence and facial recognition, the software calculates how long the politician spends on their phone, all while broadcasting the session and results on YouTube.
Those figures are automatically posted on Twitter and Instagram, Depoorter’s website explains.
Flemish Scrollers’ Twitter bio explains that the program is “automatically tagging distracted Belgian politician when they use their phone on the daily livestreams. This with the help of AI.”
This case was reported with Peter Van Rompuy, a member of the Senate of Belgium, who was caught using his smartphone; the software picked up the footage, posted it on Twitter, and tagged the politician asking him to “focus.”
Another Belgian politician, Bart Somers, was also reported to be using his phone while parliamentary proceedings were underway.
In response, politicians highlighted to the Flemish Scrollers project that they were using their phones for work purposes. However, there’s no way to determine if that was actually the case – the AI bot doesn’t ascertain what politicians are doing on their devices.
It seems that the idea caught the international eye, as foreign twitter accounts are asking the software creator to make it open source so that it could be used across other countries.
It’s worth noting that the AI bot comes almost two years after Flemish Minister-President Jan Jambon caused public outrage after playing Angry Birds during a policy discussion.
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