The Face Game: A citizen science project to learn how Artificial Intelligence will choose to appear to humans
New project by the creators of the Moral Machine experiment
As AI personas make their way into social media, have you ever wondered how they will select their profile pictures? The Face Game is a research project that lets people and AI interact, helping us see how AI might choose its own face depending on its objectives and the people it interacts with. This multidisciplinary project, led by the researchers who created the famed Moral Machine experiment, will help us navigate the future of digital interactions with AI.
Online, profile pictures of human faces are everywhere, and they play a crucial role in shaping the first impression we make on others. Right now, AI gives people the digital tools to transform their online appearance in any way they desire, often making themselves look younger or more attractive. But this is just the beginning: AI is not only helping us play this face game amongst ourselves, but it is also learning the game from us and quietly deciding which face it will showcase as itself when interacting with us.
To better understand these mechanisms, researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, the Toulouse School of Economics, the University of Exeter, and the University of British Columbia, together with the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, and Université Paris Cité, have created and launched The Face Game. In this online experiment, humans mix up with neural networks mix, and everyone (including the machines) posts their own profile pictures and reacts to the profile pictures of others. The game aims at understanding how AI will learn to choose different types of faces for itself, depending on the impression it wants to make and the human it interacts with.
“As we increasingly come across AI replicants with self-generated faces, we need to understand what they learn from observing us play the face game and ensure that we retain control over how we interact with these digital entities,” says Iyad Rahwan, Director at the Center for Humans and Machines at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development. His research center explores ethical questions concerning AI and the concept of Machine Behavior.
This project comes from the research team that developed the Moral Machine, a massive online experiment that went viral in 2016. It explored the ethical dilemmas faced by autonomous vehicles, highlighting universal principles as well as cross-cultural differences in how people want AI to behave. The results were published in leading journals, including Science and Nature.
Developed by Universidad Autonoma de Madrid researchers, The Face Game operates on multimodal AI methods, including human behavior analysis with discrimination-aware machine learning and realistic synthetic face images.