Thought Experiments

This Plugin Lets You, Not Facebook, Decide How Your News Feed Makes You Feel

Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 3.42.16 PM

A couple weeks ago Facebook came clean: it wasn’t just your ex and the photos of him and his new girlfriend that were playing with your emotions. It was an inside job. Facebook’s data scientists — or perhaps we should call them omnipotent puppeteers — had manipulated users’ feeds without their consent.

Now, after public outcry and a lackluster apology from Sheryl Sandberg, Brooklyn artist and programmer Lauren McCarthy is helping us reclaim our feelings. Her latest experiment is called the Facebook Mood Manipulator, a Google Chrome extension that allows users to adjust the content of their news feeds according to how they want to feel. Read More

The Singularity is Nigh

Computers May Soon Read Your Emotions Better Than Your Significant Other

Not a British person. (Photo: Neuroscience Marketing)

Computers are great at parsing data using logic, but when it comes to recognizing when you’re feeling angry or despondent, they’re as helpless as your high school boyfriend. Luckily, researchers across the world are working to change that, hoping that if they can teach computers to recognize and understand emotion, they can use that knowledge to educate people who have similar difficulties–such as those on the Autism Spectrum–to do so as well. Read More