Me, Myself and .io | Master's Thesis project
Is it possible that the internet might know me better than I know myself?
Me, myself and .io is a projection-based augmented reality (AR) installation about who I am as seen through both my physical and digital data. Just as artists have used mirror as a means to draw self-portraits, I am using the internet as my mirror.
To do so, I started by downloading everything Google has about me and slowly decode millions of lines of JSON using python. I asked questions and see what the dataset had to say. I then took insights I learn and visualize in the form of an augmented book using Vuforia and Unity. Code available on Github.
It used to be said that on the internet, nobody knows you’re a dog. Well, I beg to differ. The internet knows exactly who you are. Our digital footprint is an ongoing record of our desires and is traceable by both us and the big corporates. While they are selling our data to advertisers and the government, I think there’s something I can do at a very personal level using the same data. Because even though the internet knows me very well, it doesn’t care about me the way I do.
Life is like an open book where letters and ink illustrate different chapters. Stories are told thru the printed lines but the essence is hidden in between. So to complete the book, I project light onto a part of me that is usually not seen by both myself and others.
Internet as an extension of self
In the first section, I focused on search terms and investigated skills that I have on my resume and how much searching I do around those skills, despite saying I know it. To take the idea even further, I gave myself a pop quiz. I ended up struggling to complete the task as I always use my second brain, which is the internet as the reference so my brain never actually learn.
Map of a mind
Next, I looked into my browsing history and found a number of sites that I repeatedly visited over the year. This suggests that it resonates with me and it strikes me as to why, because if I am the culmination of what I spend my time on, then this is me. So I ran a script to find the physical location of these websites and place them on a map resulting in a map of where my mind goes.
Public, private, and .io self
After looking at things that are dearly personal, I moved on to look at things that involve people in my life. So I grabbed Google hangout chats that I have with my best friend and ran it through IBM Watson personality insights API. To compare, I ran my Instagram captions through the same API. It seems that I have the public self, private self and an io self that seems to hold all the versions.
Watch Thesis presentation below: