This AI Stalks Instagram Influencers, And Shows How Invasive Online Surveillance Is

Instagram follower grin

People on social media networks, Instagram in particular, may go to great length to capture that perfect photo to share to their followers.

Their hopes is that, followers and others that don't, will see how perfectly their poses are, and how beautiful the sceneries are. In fact, things are mostly made up, heavily edited and filtered, simply because things don't always look good in real life.

That fact has long been a public secret.

It's safe to say that almost everyone knows that fact.

And this time, an AI wants to make sure that more people will also understand.

The AI called 'The Follower' is designed to track Instagram influencers with posts that are made public, and offer a glimpse of how scary online surveillance is.

Created by Dries Depoorter, a Belgian artist who previously managed to monitor politicians using phones at work, The Follower demonstrates the dangers of technology.

First and foremost, Depoorter analyzed feeds taken from open cameras, which offer easy access to images of public places (and sometimes private ones).

For his focus, Depoorter gathered weeks of recorded data taken from cameras at Insta-friendly landmarks.

Then, he scraped Instagram for photos tagged with those locations.

After that, Depoorter uses his AI to compare the Instagram images with the recorded footage.

According to Depoorter, his system picked out influencers with more than 100,000 followers, and then matched their posts with data from cameras.

While influencers may, and do crave attention by "occupation," The Follower simply exposes their tricks.

At first, it may seem that Depoorter and his The Follower AI are making fun of influencers by exposing their behind-the-picture Instagram posts.

But suggesting Depoorter’s track record, it's more like he is more into unearthing the fact about how vulnerable people are when it comes to the internet.

Governments that have access to arrays of CCTV cameras located at corners of the streets, at dark alleys, inside malls and stores, and more, certainly have this kind of capabilities.

And as many privacy activists have previously noted, personal data gathered by tech companies, which can also be accessed by governments upon request, can provide much more information than what The Follower can ever do.

Here, Depoorter is showcasing how anyone can be targets of AI surveillance.