It’s a riot: the stressful AI simulation built to understand your emotions

Inspired by global unrest, Riot uses artificial intelligence, film and gaming technologies to help unpick how people react in stressful situations

An immersive film project is attempting to understand how people react in stressful situations by using artificial intelligence (AI), film and gaming technologies to place participants inside a simulated riot and then detecting their emotions in real time.

Called Riot, the project is the result of a collaboration between award winning multidisciplinary immersive filmmaker Karen Palmer and Professor Hongying Meng from Brunel University. The two have worked together previously on Syncself2, a dynamic interactive video installation.

Riot was inspired by global unrest, and was specifically inspired by Palmer’s experience of watching live footage of the Ferguson protests in 2015. “I felt a big sense of frustration, anger and helplessness. I needed to create a piece of work that would encourage dialogue around these types of social issues. Riots all over the world now seem to be [the] last form of [community] expression,” she said.

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