Preliminary results graphs from AVS 1-29-13 at Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneers

Preliminary results graphs from AVS 1-29-13 at Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneers

Preliminary Results from Acclair Art Valuation Session at Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneers, Copenhagen as analyzed by Ariel Telpaz, Technion Israel Institute of Technology, 29 January 2013.

Prototype 1 debut at the Van Abbe Museum, The Netherlands, 2009. integrates wireless brainscanning using the Neurosky MindSet and real-time brain visualization projection.

Brain Fingerprinting Mind Footage circa 2004

Instructions for original Brain Fingerprinting test

Acclair will present its latest service, the Art Valuaton Service, at the 1st “Art, Science and Technology: Interaction betweetn three Cultures” International Conference.

Acclair has been accepted with an abstract titled: “Acclair’s Art Valuation Service: A Critical Exploration of Neuro-metric Technologies and the Human Experience”

The conference will take place at the Ort Braude College in Karmiel, Israel, 1-2 June

I was very happy when I introduced myself to Jurgen Schmidhuber and his work on Curiosity. He’s the proof that even older geeks can be really cool. Just trust me on that.

As part of his quest to build the “Optimal Scientist” (and then retire), Schmidhuber, an Artificial-Intelligence-slash-computer-scientist extraordinaire,  asks the very human questions of  “What is Curiosity?” and “What does Interesting really means?”. (Have you ever thought about that?).

His response to these questions, although manifested in hardcore mathematical equations and lots of robotics gibberish, is still funny, engaging and comprehensible even for the likes of me.

Schmidhuber basically says that what makes things “interesting”, is really the distance between what we know about something, and the new information revealed to us at the a certain moment, or as we go through a new experience. And this distance, this gap, has to be just right. Too much will result in rejection, too little in all probability in boredom.

So, for example, if I’m a fan of Madonna’s music, and I listen to a new Lady Gaga song, there’s a good chance I’ll find it interesting. (I don’t have to “Like” it, mind you, but still be interested). However, if for some obscure reason I come across an Animal Collective track, chances are I’ll tune it out as fast as I can and put it in my mental “OOCH! NOISE!” section.

How come? (writing on the chalkboard in front of the class):

[Lady Gaga, new] – [Madonna, familiar] = Just right, Interesting


[Lady Gaga, new]  – [Animal Collective, unfamiliar] = Too far, Uninteresting

Ok. So I can’t exactly publish that on Science magazine, but it sort of makes sense, doesn’t it?

For us at Acclair this is fascinating stuff.  Scrumptious almost. Why? Coming next.

. . .

Sweet Appendix:

Lady Gaga:

Animal Collective:

We’re here at STRP Art + Technology Festival in lovely Einhoven, NL. STRP 2010 is the first time for Acclair to take its AVS (art valuation system) live with multiple users. For this iteration (Beta 2) we have capabilities for up to 10 guests to participate simultaneously, viewing projects throughout multiple festival halls. Our AVS “flânueur” explore the festival buildings and participate in diverse activities—playing video games (if anyone can be said to “play” Fur Art’s Painstation) watching 3D film in-the-round or running through a facial recognition matrix to see which famous (or infamous) person most closely matches their scan (team Acclair turns up as Ted Bundy, Charles Manson and Amy Winehouse—jet lag, go figure), then report back to receive their “curiosity score”.

The scene from the Acclair registration desk

This is also our first time out with the Acclair AVS iphone app (thanks Mathias Dahlström!), swell systems, server and database programming (thanks Barak Har’el!), custom data visualization (thanks Michael Doherty!), great print design (thanks Lee Schain) and super awesome artwork (thanks Kathrine Worel!).

Thank you to our fantastic volunteer attendants and the great exhibition viewers/users

We’re learning a lot about running such a complex system live, it’s a real trial-by-fire. But there’s nothing like learning on the fly! This expansion also represents a successful next step in pushing neuro-aware environments into the “everyday” and current database totals show almost 200 people have used the Art Valuation Service so far!