Processing Personas is a small botnet that interacts directly with zoom to explain and personify the data collection and surveillance process. The project has four bots create a zoom call automatically and give a presentation by using their video feeds and functions built into the zoom client. The bots collaborate to present the different parts of the surveillance model – data collection, data processing, results and consequences.
The project is specifically focused on surveillance in education, as the shift to remote learning has raised many concerns about the state of data collection from the tools and technologies we rely on to pursue our online education. The bots voice concerns about technologies that are becoming more common in education and speculates about our future if these technologies continue to be integrated. I hope to prompt viewers to think critically and consider the consequences of becoming over reliant on technologies that are insecure and invasive.
Each bot met inside of the Zoom room personifies the flow of information. Throughout the project I tried to keep the personas and their visuals in line with Zoom’s own art direction. The profile of each bot is meant to show the presence of what would otherwise be obscured, represented by the default anonymous figure always lurking behind the process currently taking place.
Apart from sending messages in the Zoom chat, the bots interact by creating breakout rooms and by prompting the viewer to share their camera and talk about themselves. Representing its priority to learn as much as possible about the viewer throughout the Zoom call. This project was an experiment to see how visible functions in educational technology could be used to show some of it’s hidden functions, I plan on continuing to develop it to create more interactions and experiences in the future.