[help me know the truth]


[help me know the truth]

Interactive software, 3 tablets, projector
dimensions variable

[help me know the truth] is a software-based installation that uses computational neuroscience algorithms to ‘reverse correlate’ people’s unconscious biases. Visitors to the work take a selfie, which is processed two different ways with noise algorithms, making two versions of the selfie that are slightly different. Then visitors are asked to ‘judge’ the face with a randomly assigned request to choose which face is more trustworthy, less friendly, likely a terrorist, etc. The noise pattern is saved with the face and the process continues, moving iPad to iPad around the space. The resulting image appears on a large projection after the image has been judged, and thus continually altered, by five people in the gallery, ‘manifesting’ our collective biases.

That gallery visitors are constantly judging the people around them (the selfies are distributed immediately around the gallery) and that other people in the gallery are judging them is a key part of the experience of the work.

The intent behind the work is to both utilize and question how computational neuroscience techniques can uncover the categorizing systems of the mind, and how they are therefore subject to socially constructed fears and values. The work further calls into question notions of truth. Is neuroscience truly the best way to parse the complex interplay of thoughts, feelings, and beliefs of a person? Do we trust computers to categorize our appearances?



Ars Electronica Press Release. “Future Humanity – Our Shared Planet” September 2018.

Ars Electronica Catalog “CyberArts 2018

D’Auria, Veronica. “[help me know the truth] Mary Flanagan (US)-a software-driven participatory artwork for Ars electronica.” 7 October 2018.

Additional Credits

Jared Segal, Ron Dotsch whose reverse correlation software was adapted for this project, Danielle Taylor, and Sukie Punjasthitkul